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Snakes near planes: endangered species found thriving in San Francisco airport wetlands


An undeveloped piece of land belonging to San Francisco International Airport is home to a thriving population of an endangered snake species, a recent study found, reports CBS San Francisco.

The study, commissioned by the US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, found that the 180-acre patch of wetlands and uplands is home to some 1,300 San Francisco garter snakes – the largest concentration found to date. day, airport officials said Wednesday.

Snakes near planes: endangered species found thriving in San Francisco airport wetlands
San Francisco Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in an undated photo.

National Park Service / CBS San Francisco


The land, known as the West-of-Bayshore and off-limits to the public, is also home to the California Red-legged Frog. The California red-legged frog and the California garter snake are both considered federally protected species.

“These results validate the environmental stewardship programs we have in place to ensure that endangered species can survive and thrive in SFO (San Francisco / Oakland),” said SFO Wildlife Biologist Natalie Reeder .

Airport officials say his efforts have helped improve habitat, including an annual visit by goats for fire prevention.

The airport began its recovery action plan in 2008, trying to stabilize or increase populations of snakes and frogs. In 2014, the airport was recognized for its recovery efforts with an Environmental Excellence Award from Airports Council International North America.

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