Concho Water Snake Taken Off Endangered Species List

The Concho water snake (Nerodia paucimaculata), first listed as a threatened species in 1986, which had afforded it certain protections, has been delisted in part due to conservation efforts in Texas, the only state where the snake can be found, according to an article in the San Angelo Standard Times. A population study conducted on the snake in 1984 estimated that there were between 330 and 600 of the reptiles in the wild. Today, estimates of the water snake are in the tens of thousands, Michael Price, director of the San Angelo Nature Center said in the article.

The non-venomous snake, which grows up to 3 feet long can be found in and around the Concho River and the Colorado River basins of the Rolling Plains. It was first thought to exclusively live in and around shallow streams but has been found in other areas of the two river systems that it inhabits. It is endemic to Central Texas and can be found in rocky areas and shallow waters that house schools of small fish.

The Concho water snake feeds on small fish such as minnows, mosquito fish, and sunfish. It is active at dawn and dusk and hibernates in the winter. The snake's populations will be monitored by both the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Colorado Municipal Water District for the next five years to ensure the livelihood of the snake. Its lifespan is approximately five years.

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