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Distribution and demography of San Francisco gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) at Mindego Ranch, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, San Mateo County, California

Open-File Report 2018-1063

Prepared in cooperation with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
By:
https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181063

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Abstract

San Francisco gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) are a subspecies of common gartersnakes endemic to the San Francisco Peninsula of northern California. Because of habitat loss and collection for the pet trade, San Francisco gartersnakes were listed as endangered under the precursor to the Federal Endangered Species Act. A population of San Francisco gartersnakes resides at Mindego Ranch, San Mateo County, which is part of the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve owned and managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). Because the site contained non-native fishes and American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), MROSD implemented management to eliminate or reduce the abundance of these non-native species in 2014. We monitored the population using capture-mark-recapture techniques to document changes in the population during and following management actions. Although drought confounded some aspects of inference about the effects of management, prey and San Francisco gartersnake populations generally increased following draining of Aquatic Feature 3. Continued management of the site to keep invasive aquatic predators from recolonizing or increasing in abundance, as well as vegetation management that promotes heterogeneous grassland/shrubland near wetlands, likely would benefit this population of San Francisco gartersnakes.

Suggested Citation

Kim, R., Halstead, B.J., Wylie, G.D., and Casazza, M.L., 2018, Distribution and demography of San Francisco gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) at Mindego Ranch, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, San Mateo County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1063, 80 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181063.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Distribution and demography of San Francisco gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) at Mindego Ranch, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, San Mateo County, California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2018-1063
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20181063
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Western Ecological Research Center
Description:
viii, 80 p.
Country:
United States
State:
California
County:
San Mateo
Other Geospatial:
Mindego Ranch, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
Online Only (Y/N):
Y