Giant Garter Snake - Pacific Forest Trust

Giant Garter Snake

Giant Garter Snake

Quick Facts

Latin Name: Thamnophis gigas

Status: Threatened

Population: California’s Central Valley

Primary Diet: Fish and frogs

Length: Can reach 64 inches

About the Giant Garter Snake

The giant garter snake is a highly aquatic variety of snake and can be found basking on or near ponds and streams. Its diet consists primarily of snakes and frogs, and when threatened with nearby activity, it will quickly dart into the water, a defense mechanism against birds of prey.

As a result of wetland habitat destruction in California’s Central Valley, the giant garter snake is listed as “threatened.” Toxic pesticides, water transfer, and rice farming are mainly to blame for this destruction.

Although the giant garter snake uses venom on its prey, it is not considered dangerous to humans. The poison may cause an unpleasant reaction at the site of the bite but not much more than that.

The giant garter snake is the largest species of garter snake.

For more information: U.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceCenter for Biological Diversity, California Herps
Photography: Image #1 by Hanes Brian, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Image #2 by California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


The giant garter snake lives in the following habitats:


The giant garter snake needs your help to preserve its natural habitat. Together, with Pacific Forest Trust and our network of partners, we can all protect the spaces this species needs to survive.

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Conservation PROJECTS WITH
Giant Garter Snake HABITATS

The Pacific Forest Trust is dedicated to preserving natural habitats and forest systems where animals can thrive. Explore some of our conservation projects and easements in and around the giant garter snake habitat.