Biologist says he has found rare giant garter snakes in California wetlands

Biologist finds rare garter snakes in California

STOCKTON, Calif. — A Northern California biologist says he has found a population of giant garter snakes, a federally threatened species that many thought had vanished.

Biologist Eric Hansen of Sacramento says he discovered the snakes, which emit a fishy odor and can grow up to 5 feet long, in a wetland north of Stockton.

The snake has lost about 90 percent of its habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Hansen received a federal grant to find out how many of 13 historic subpopulations of giant garter snakes are still around.

He says he found six males and two females, including one that was pregnant. In all, his study found evidence that 11 of the 13 historic populations of the snakes still exist.


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