Imperiled, Fish-Eating Snake Gains 447 Miles of Protected Streams in Arizona, New Mexico

SILVER CITY, N.M.— In response to nearly two decades of scientific and legal advocacy by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected 447 stream miles in the Southwest as critical habitat for the narrow-headed garter snake. That amounts to 23,785 protected acres in Arizona and New Mexico.

The snake is known for living almost its entire life in or immediately alongside water. The waterways now protected for the snake under the Endangered Species Act include 46 miles of the Gila River, 71 miles of the San Francisco River, 52 miles of the Blue River, 20 miles of the Tularosa River and 27 miles of the Verde River.

“Protecting these rivers will make a real difference for the narrow-headed garter snake,” said Brian Segee, endangered species legal director at the Center. “The only way to save these river-dwelling snakes is to shield the places they live.”

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Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity