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Northern Mexican Gartersnake Rediscovered near Colorado River

Jeff Servoss

A snake once thought lost has been rediscovered near the Colorado River.

KAWC’s Stephanie Sanchez reports.

The Northern Mexican Gartersnake has been rediscovered along the Colorado River.

The non-venomous snake, reaches 44 inches long and relies on native frogs and fish for food.

It is olive to olive brown colored and has three stripes that run the length of the body with a yellow stripe down its back.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials believed the snake was extinct because of modifications and diversions constructed on the Colorado River for recreation and agriculture.

But after a 100 year absence, the snake made a comeback.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife public affairs specialist Jeff Humphrey says it could be a result of the Lower Colorado River Multi-species Conservation Program that started in 2005.

“They have been working to monitor the wildlife along the river as well as to restore and create habitat along the river," Humphrey said. "The return of this snake may be an indication that all of that effort is starting to show some rewards.”

The program’s contracted biologists rediscovered the snake in its historical range located at Beal Lake on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Officials ask the public to not disturb the snake, especially since its listed as a threatened species.