Endangered Species in Santa Cruz County - Reptiles
San Francisco garter snake
Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis tetraenia
The San Francisco Garter Snake is a colorful garter snake, averaging 2-3 ft. in length. It can be recognized by its mid-dorsal stripe of greenish-yellow bordered by a black and a red stripe on each side which may be broken or divided. The belly is greenish-blue, and the top of the head is red. All known populations of this species occur in San Mateo County, CA. It mates in early March, and lives on a diet consisting primarily of frogs, toads, immature newts, fishes and occasional small mammals.
Habitat: Near freshwater marshes, ponds, and slow-moving streams; upland areas near pond/marsh habitat are important in fall and winter. Marshes provide important feeding and breeding habitat; often basks on floating algae or rush mats or on grassy hillsides near drainages and ponds; seeks cover in bankside vegetation such as cattails, bulrushes, and spikerushes, and in rodent burrows.
Threats: Urbanization has destroyed most prime habitat, leaving highly fragmented populations.
To Learn More:
- CA Dept. of Fish and Game
Provides status notes (including distribution, habitat and breeding) about the rare, threatened, and endangered animals and plants of California.
- CalPhotos Database
Enter species name, common or scientific, in search box to access browseable photographs on the species.
- NatureServe Explorer
Enter species name in the search box to access a detailed description of habitat, behavior, food, current conservation status, ecological and distribution data, with citations to relevant management reports.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Comprehensive page of kids' species information from the Sacramento office of U.S. Fish & Wildlife.
Last updated by villasenora on April 16, 2015
Browse by Status Key
E — Endangered
T — Threatened
CH — Critical Habitat
PE — Taxa proposed for listing as endangered
PT — Taxa proposed for listing as threatened
PCH — Critical habitat which has been proposed
C — Candidate species for which the Fish and Wildlife Service has on file sufficient information on the biological vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list as endangered or threatened
D — Delisted due to Recovery