Found in Arizona and New Mexico

PHOENIX – To help protect and recover the narrow-headed gartersnake, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated critical habitat for the species. Critical habitat helps federal agencies focus their conservation activities in areas that are essential to the listed species. This species was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2014.

The critical habitat designation includes approximately 23,785 acres in Greenlee, Apache, Yavapai, Gila and Coconino counties in Arizona, and Grant, Hidalgo and Catron counties in New Mexico.

In 2020, the Service published a revised critical habitat proposal for the narrow-headed gartersnake, which included a considerable reduction in acreage. This final rule reflects a net increase of approximately 5,085 acres from the revised proposal to include expanded terrestrial areas along streams to better capture hibernation habitat used by the species. The Service excluded a total of 508 acres of Tribal lands that already include conservation plans for the gartersnake.

Narrow-headed gartersnake populations have declined primarily from interactions with predatory, non-native species such as crayfish and warm water sportfish. These non-native species compete with and prey upon both the gartersnakes themselves and their native prey species, causing both mortality of gartersnakes and starvation of individuals. Drought and large-scale wildfires that diminish surface water or degrade streamside vegetation are also significant threats, particularly where they occur in the presence of non-native species.

Critical habitat designations affect only federal agency actions or federally funded or permitted activities. For development to occur in these areas that may affect a listed species, federal agencies must consult with the Service first.

Healthy, native aquatic ecosystems contain some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the Southwest. Their protection and conservation is  critical to both people and many other species of aquatic insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, waterfowl and wildlife. Efforts to protect the flow of rivers, manage threats, and encourage healthy streams that the narrow-headed gartersnake depends upon can benefit aquatic communities for future generations to enjoy.

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. FWS is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species.

Click to search the Beat Click to search the Beat

Get Updates Three Times a Week

Welcome to the Update! You will receive emails 3 times a week with links to recently posted articles.


You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Please Note in Classifieds a dog looking for a home. And now a well-loved cat is looking for a home.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top