San Francisco garter snake controversy
Pacifica, California. In 1995, Doug Rossman and Jeff Boundy coastal T. sirtalis to be subspecifically distinct and lumped the three coastal T. sirtalis with T. s. concinnus and T. s. tetrataenia. Authors of The Garter Snakes - Evolution and Ecology. In 1998, Sean Barry and Mark Jennings petitioned with political protection reasoning the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) to restore the previous nomenclature . With no opposition from Boundy or Rossman, the ICZN agreed to restore the name T. s. tetrataenia to snakes on the San Francisco peninsula. Authors understand the protection given is needed and the restoration of this nomenclature. Conversely Scientist acknowledge Rossman and Boundy's nomenclature is based on sound scientific research and in logic embrace this dichotomy.
Conservation Issues is its Conservation Status if lost the SFGS will not have its legal protection.
Listed as endangered by the state and by the federal government. The habitat of this snake has declined severely due to urban development and agricultural land use and altering of the waterways needed by this snake. These habitat changes and world wide toad virus have also reduced populations of one of this snake's main food sources on the San Francisco peninsula, the California Toad now feeding on Tree Frogs , Red-legged Frog . Some authorities believe that the remaining fragmented populations of this snake could be further threatened by overcollecting for the pet trade if not protected. San Francisco Gartersnakes are popular pets in Europe, where ICZN is not accepted that there are more of these snakes than there are in the wild in California.