Save The Snakes is leading a campaign to make the giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) California’s State Snake.
The giant gartersnake is a large, highly aquatic snake that is endemic to California’s Central Valley. It is one of the largest gartersnakes in the world, reaching lengths of up to 64 inches! Unfortunately, the giant gartersnake is a threatened species. Its populations have declined due to a number of factors, including habitat loss, water pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. Together we can Save The Giant Gartersnake!
Benefits of making the giant gartersnake California’s state snake
- The giant gartersnake is endemic to California, meaning it can be found nowhere else in the world. This snake is perfectly adapted to living in wetlands in the Central Valley, with limited distribution throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley.
- The giant gartersnake is truly a giant and is the largest species of all gartersnake species. Adult snakes have been documented to reach 64 inches in length.
- The giant gartersnake is the most aquatic gartersnake species and survives in habitat that is characterized by shallow, slow-moving streams, ponds, and marshes. The snake is also found in agricultural areas, such as rice fields, where it uses irrigation ditches and canals for transportation between water bodies.
- The giant gartersnake is a threatened species, and its population has declined by more than 90% in the past century. The primary threats to the snake’s survival are habitat loss and degradation, as well as predation by non-native species. Habitat loss is due to several factors, including agricultural development, water diversion, and pollution and pesticides. Furthermore, as California faces an uncertain future due to Climate Change, so does the survival of this uniquely California species. The giant gartersnake was listed as Threatened under the California Endangered Species Act in 1971 and Threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1993.
- Declaring the giant gartersnake as the official state snake of California will acknowledge the species’ important place in the ecology, agriculture and water resources of California, as well as broadcast and reinforce the state’s commitment to protecting endangered species.
Together we can Save The Giant Gartersnake
There are a number of things that can be done to help save the giant gartersnake from extinction. These include:
- Protecting and restoring its habitat. Giant gartersnakes need wetlands and other wet areas to survive. Protecting and restoring these habitats will help to ensure that the snakes have a place to live.
- Reducing water pollution. Water pollution can kill giant gartersnakes and make it difficult for them to find food. Reducing water pollution will help to improve the quality of the snakes’ habitat.
- Controlling invasive species. Invasive species, like nonnative water snakes and bullfrogs, can compete with giant gartersnakes for food and habitat. Controlling these species will help to reduce the pressure on the snakes.
- Raising awareness. Raising awareness about the plight of the giant gartersnake can help to encourage people to take action to protect it.
If we all work together, we can save the giant gartersnake from extinction. These beautiful and important snakes deserve our help.
If you are able, please consider donating to support Save The Snakes giant gartersnake conservation efforts.