An invasive Banded Water Snake has been found in Yuma waters

Discussion in 'Lake Reports and Updates' started by HookedAZ, Jan 8, 2017.

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  1. HookedAZ

    HookedAZ Administrator Staff Member

    An invasive snake has been found in Yuma waters. Officials are concerned because the snakes could pose a threat to local species and alter the Colorado River ecosystem.

    “So where we’re heading right now is north of Yuma on Laguna Dam Road. We’re going to a lake called Mittry Lake," said Richard Meyers, an Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager.

    Meyers is investigating the arrival of the Southern Banded Water Snake at Mittry Lake and other Colorado River waters in the Yuma area.

    On a humid Friday afternoon, Meyers, drives to the lake where the snakes have been spotted most frequently.

    The invasive snake can grow up to 3 feet long. It sports thick bands of black and faint bands of orange. But you’re not likely to see one. As Meyers stands in a thick of cattail reeds, he said they like to hide.

    “Sometimes if they’re going after an amphibian or frog or something, sometimes they’ll be on the edge of the water," Meyers said. "So, they probably hunt at night when these things are out doing their thing, so they’re probably skirting the shoreline, maybe at dusk. But during the day, they’re kind of like any animal. They’re getting back in refuge a little bit.”

    The snakes like Mittry Lake because, with cattails and stagnant water, it is similar to the Florida swamps where the snakes are native. The animals are also drawn to the area due to the abundance of invertebrates, amphibians and fish.

    They are not venomous, but Arizona Game and Fish is concerned about the snake’s impact on other species. They compete with and could potentially wipe out native species, such as the protected Giant Garter snake.

    source/full article science.kjzz.org/content/410062/invasive-snake-species-spreads-along-Colorado-river-yuma

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