NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – An endangered snake is getting federal protection in New Mexico and Arizona. The Center for Biological Diversity reports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated 447 miles of stream miles as critical habitat for the narrow-headed garter snake.
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Known for living almost its entire life in or alongside water, the snake now has protected waterways under the Endangered Species Act which includes 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.
The Center for Biological Diversity explains the narrow-headed garter snake and the northern Mexican garter snake were listed as a threatened species in 2014 as they both are disappearing as streams in the southwest deteriorate due to livestock, mining, agriculture, and suburban growth.