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Federal wildlife officials announce protections for threatened garter snake

Pierson Hill

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday announced it’ll designate nearly 450 miles of streams in Arizona and New Mexico as critical habitat for the threatened narrow-headed garter snake.

The protections include 27 miles of the Verde River along with sections of the Gila, San Francisco, Blue and Tularosa rivers.

According to conservationists, the snake lives almost its entire life alongside water and it, along with the threatened northern Mexican garter snake, are disappearing as Southwestern streams are degraded by livestock and mining operations as well as urban sprawl and climate change.

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