Why One Snake is so Important to 230 Different Wildlife Species

Listed as a Threatened species under both the Federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act due to habitat loss, the Giant Gartersnake’s survival is intertwined with planted rice in the Sacramento Valley. According to Anna Jordan, a Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who monitors Giant Gartersnakes, this rice-reliant species is also an umbrella species, making the work to conserve their summer rice field habitat critically important to helping conserve a multitude of different wildlife species. There are 230 wildlife species connected to planted rice fields throughout Northern California’s Sacramento Valley.