Invasive snakes threaten to displace native snakes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Scientists are worried endangered native snakes could be displaced by two types of non-native species that have become prevalent in the Sacramento area.

The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1jrpaPF ) that the common water snake is thriving in Roseville and the southern water snake has colonies in Folsom.

Jonathan Rose, a doctoral candidate in ecology at UC Davis, says common water snakes have spread across the Eastern U.S., but are rarely found west of the Rocky Mountains. Rose is author of a new study on the pervasiveness of the invasive species.

Research shows water snakes are well suited to the habitat traditionally occupied by the giant garter snake — a species once plentiful in California but now on the state's threatened species list.

The giant garters are in direct competition with the invasive snakes for food.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com