Other Animals[edit | edit source]

The Arcata Wastewater treatment marshes create habitat for many animals. The goal of this webpage is to familiarize people with the wildlife that may live in the Arcata Marsh area. Many animals live in the marsh area.

This webpage will show some Amphibians, Mammals, and Reptiles, that live in the marsh area.

Amphibians Mammals Reptiles
American Toad Black Rat Common Garter Snake
California Newt Bobcat
California Red Legged Frog Gray Fox
Pacific Tree Frog House Mouse
Rough Skinned Newt Mole
Western Pond Turtle North American Porcupine
North American River Otter
Vole
Raccoon
Striped Skunk



Amphibians[edit | edit source]

American Toad[edit | edit source]

Figure 1. American Toad Bufo americanus

Location:
The American Toad, Bufo Americanus, is native to the Nearctic region. They inhabit large portions of North America. The American Toad needs a semi permanent source of water to use in the breeding season. These toads have an ability to adapt to their environment. This has allowed them to colonize suburban and agricultural areas and the Arcata marsh area.
Habitat:
American toad require a semi-permanent freshwater pond for early development. They can be found in temperate, terrestrial, and freshwater habitat. They prefer areas with dense patches of vegetation and feed on insects. American toads can be found in many different places from forests to backyards and even in a marsh. They are commonly found in gardens and fields. During the day the American toad will seek shade. When to cold weather comes around the American toad digs backwards into the ground to hibernate.
Physical Description:
American toads are characterized by warty skin, stout bodies and short legs. The American toad has many glands in its skin that can produce a poisonous fluid, it provides protection from predators. This poison may be harmful if it is swallowed or gets in a persons eyes, but it can make other animals very sick. American toad are usually a shade of brown, somtimes with red and light patches , of olive or gray. The skin color may change depending on temperature , humidity, and stress. Color changes range from yellow to brown to black. Females are slightly larger than male American toad. The size of a typical American Toad ranges from 50 to 100 mm.
Reproduction:
Breeding occurs during March and April, sometimes it may extend until July. American Toad larvae hatch from eggs to become tadpoles. Larvae have produce chemicals in their skin for protection. A metamorphosed toadlet are usually 0.8 to 1.3 cm in length and have similar coloration to adult American toad.
Behavior:
American toad are generally nocturnal. They are more active in warm humid weather. American Toad are solitary, congregating for breeding. The average American toad lives 1 to 2 years; though it has been documented that an American toad lived to 36 years old.
Food Habits:
Adult American toad are carnivores, but American toad tadpoles are herbivores. Tadpoles graze on aquatic vegetation (algae). Adult American toad eat a variety of insects and other invertebrates, including snails, beetles, slugs, and earthworms. An American toad can eat up to 1,000 insects per day. Interestingly, American toad do not drink water, rather they absorb moisture through their skin.


Location:
The California Newt, Taricha torosa, along with four other variety of newt family (Salamandridae) inhabit California. It is generally located on the Coastal Range of California from Mexico to Humboldt County.
Habitat:
The northern population of California Newt prefers mesic forests whereas the southern population of newts prefer a drier climate
Physical Description: An adult California Newt is typically 12.5-20 cm in length. Males are slightly larger than females.
Reproduction:
The mating season for the California Newt is from December to early May. The female California Newt will lay egss in ponds, lakes and slow moving streams in water typically not deeper than 15 cm. The incubation period is usually 14-21 days. Incubation may last longer depending on weather conditions.
Behavior
The California Newt has a unique way of defending itself. The California Newt will show is bright underbelly and if attacked it excretes a neurotoxin through its skin which can cause paralysis to the attacker. It may make a clicking or yelping sound when it is disturbed. Amazingly the excretions on the California Newts skin allows them to walk through low smoldering flames.
Food Habits:
The California Newt uses its tongue to capture its prey; its tongue has an adhesive texture. An adult California Newt's diet contains earthworms, snails, slugs and sowbugs. Occasionally adult newts cannibalize and eat their own eggs and/or larvae.


Location:
Red Legged Frog inhabit California. Two subspecies occupy different ranges of the state.
Habitat:
Adult frogs require emergent riparian vegetation near still or slow moving ponds, intermittent streams. The well vegetated areas provide protection; Red Legged Frog can escape from predators. Red Legged Frog cannot be exposed to water in excess of 29 degrees centigrade.
Physical Description:
Red Legged Frog are reddish brown to gray and have poorly defined dark specks and blotches. Red Legged Frog grow to about 2 to 5.25 inches in length. Northern Red Legged Frog do not have vocal sacs.
Reproduction:
Breeding season is from late November to early April. A female will a lay about 2000 to 5000 eggs into a permanent body of water that contains vegetation; cattails, tules, or bulrushes. It takes about 6 to 14 days for an egg to hatch into tadpoles that can grow to 3 inches long in 4 to 7 months. Males can begin reproducing at about 3 years and females about 4 years. Northern Red legged frogs live about 12 to 15 years.
Behavior:
Red legged frog are a solitary species. Breeding takes a few days. Juvenile Red legged Frog are more active than adult Red legged frog and are often eaten by birds.
Food Habits:
Red legged frog have a diverse diet. Adults deed on invertebrates, small mammals, and other amphibians. Larvae feed on aquatic vegetation (algage).


Location:
Pacific Tree frog are found in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. extending from California to British Columbia. And from the Pacific Coast east to Montana and Nevada.
Habitat:
Contrary to their title, Pacific Tree Frog usually live on the ground. They can be found near moist places like springs, ponds, streams, or other wetlands. They live in damp areas like recesses in rocks, logs, and in dense vegetation.
Physical Description:
Adult Pacific tree frog grow to about 1 to 1 7/8 inches long. Females are slightly larger than males. They have sticky disks on their toes; they are used for climbing. Coloration varies between individuals and may range from lime green to brown on a particular frog. A Pacific tree frog can change shades depending on moisture and temperature.
Reproduction:
Pacific tree frog are mature for reproduction in about 1 year. Breeding season is from January to the middle of May. Males may attract a females a mile or even farther away, with a two toned mating call. Females lay an egg mass of about 10 - 70 eggs. It is laid in a pond (temporary) attached to vegetation. In 3 to 4 weeks tadpoles hatch from the eggs.
Behavior:
Pacific tree frog are solitary animals, though during breeding season they might congregate. They are nocturnal and territorial. At night Males ward off other Males with a two toned mating call. It is considerably loud for the size of the animal. Pacific tree frog can change color with depending on the temperature and humidity.
Food Habits:
Pacific tree frog tadpoles eat aquatic vegetation (algae). When they transform into adults their diet changes. Adult Pacific tree frogs eat insects: tiny gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. They stick their tongue out and catch prey.


Location:
Rough Skinned Newt are found along the Pacific coast of North America. Ranging from Santa Cruz County, California to southeastern Alaska north to Juneau. In northern California Rough Skinned Newt are found as far east as Shasta County.
Habitat:
Rough Skinned Newt inhabit aquatic and terrestrial environments. They spend most of their time on land. They return to water to breed. During dry weather a Rough Skinned Newt may live solely in an aquatic environment. It is possible for a Rough Skinned Newt to live its entire life in an aquatic environment. Rough Skinned Newt prefer water with little to no current. like ponds, lakes, slow moving streams, and sometimes small ephemeral wet areas such as ditches.
Physical Description:
Larvae are aquatic and grow to about 18 mm in length. Adult Rough Skinned Newt grow to about 12. 7 to 21.6 cm in length. Their skin is dark, rough and grainy. Males are larger than females. During breeding season males become aquatic. Their skin changes to become smooth, spongy, and lighter coloration.
Reproduction:
Breeding takes place underwater. This process may last for several hours to two days.
Behavior:
Adult Rough Skinned Newt live in terrestrial habitats and at other times may live in aquatic habitats. They are known to migrate to and from mating sites. Rough Skinned Newt produce a powerful toxin, tetrodoxin, from glands located in the skin.
Food Habits:
Adult Rough Skinned Newt are carnivores, insects make up a large portion of their diet. They may eat snails, insects, or other amphibians.

Larvae eat small aquatic invertebrates.



Location:
The Western Pond Turtle, Clemmys marmorata, can be found in aquatic habitats in regions of Northern California, British Columbian, Oregon, and Sierra Nevada. There are two subspecies: the northwestern pond turtle, Clemmys marmorata marmorata, and the southwestern pond turtle, Clemmys marmorata pallida. The turtle species is listed as a federally protected and may soon be listed as an endangered species.
Physical Description:
Western Pond Turtle have a low and wide shell, the widest part of the shell is at the center. The length of the turtle ranges between 100 mm to 210 mm. The feet are webbed to the base of the claw. Males have a shorter thicker tail.
Reproduction:
Mating season for Western Pond Turtle is during April and May. The habitat required for breeding presents risks to the survivability of the species. A nesting site must be chosen by females. Usually the site is of southern orientation, and will not flood. Females travel to an adjacent wetland or upland to build nests. This journey may involve crossing roads and may be subjected to other threats on this journey. Oviposition occurs in July and August. It takes about 12 weeks for hatchlings to emerge.
Western Pond Turtles may live to 30 to 40 years. It takes about 8 years until a western pond turtle is sexually mature.

Mammals[edit | edit source]



Location:
Black Rat also known as the House Rat, Rattus rattus is found on all continents. It has been introduced to many places through human travel. They stowed away on ships; that is why they are sometimes called ship rats. The Norway Rat is dominate in colder climates, though the house rat is able to adapt to extreme cold and harsh conditions.
Habitat:
Rattus rattus prefer coastal areas, this correlates to rat populations spreading with the travels of ships. Black Rat population is not limited to coastal areas. It can live in almost any area that can support its primarily vegetarian diet. Although it can be found near water it rarely swims. It has been shown that Rattus rattus live at altitudes as high as 250 m above sea level.
Physical Description:
Rattus rattus has a tail that is almost always longer than the body, it has a medium sized body with relatively large ears. A black rat can weigh 70 to 300 grams. The length of the head and body usually ranges from 16 to 22 cm. The tail is usually 19 cm or longer. Males are longer and heavier than females.
Reproduction:
Rattus rattus often social groups are formed consisting of many males and females. There is one dominant male. There may be a few dominant females in a group. Territories are defended aggressively. If environmental conditions allow breeding may occur all year. A single female can produce 5 litters per year. It takes about 21 to 29 days for gestation. Young rats are able to reproduce within 3 to 5 months. Weaning and independence from the mother occurs about 3 to 4 weeks from birth. The young rats remain in the nest with the mother until they reach full adult size. On average a black rat lives for about 1 year in the wild. A black rat in captivity has lived for up to 4 years.
Behavior:
Black Rat live in polygynous groups with many males and females. Females are usually more aggressive than males. Males have higher mobility than females. Black rat has many destructive behaviors. They can strip bark off of trees and they can contaminate food supplies. It is a primarily nocturnal animal. Some rats can live in trees and others may live on the ground. It uses its long tail for balance.
Rattus rattus is an omnivore; it has a diverse diet. Black rat will often feed on cereals, grain, fruit, and other vegetation. It will eat insects and other invertebrates if needed. A Black Rat consumes about 15 grams of food and 15 mL of water per day. These animals can be pests. They can cause extensive damage to livestock and farms. The Black rats can gnaw through many materials and it ruins many things by excreting on them.


Location:
Bobcats inhabit North America, from Southern Canada to Southern Mexico. Population densities are lower in the western states. In the southeastern region bobcat populations are higher.
Habitat:
Bobcat may inhabit many different kinds of habitat,forests, semi-deserts, mountains, and brush land.
Physical Description:
Bobcat have short tails 11 to 19 cm in lenth; this characteristic feature inspired the name of the animal. Bobcat lrngth range from 65 to 105 cm. Shoulder height on a Bobcat ranges from 45 to 58 cm. Bobcat weigh between 4 and 15 kg. Bobcat fur consists of shades of buff and brown. Some portions of the fur have black or dark brown spots or stripes. The back of the ears and the tip of the tail are black.
Reproduction:
Mating time is variable; it tends to occur in early spring. Gestation is about 60 to 70 days. Each litter produces about 3 kittens. They open their eyes at about 10 days. Young bobcat nurse until they are 2 months old. When young bobcats are about 8 months old they leave the care of their mother. This is during winter. Bobcat live for about 12 years in the wild. A captive bobcat might live for about 32 years.
Behavior:
Bobcat are solitary animals. Male and female interact primarily during the mating season. They yowl and hiss during mating season, though they do not do this often. Bobcat are territorial. They mark their with scent territory which may range up to a several square kilometers. A succesful Male bobcat has overlapping territory with many females. Females do not overlap territory.
Food Habits:
Bobcat are carnivores. They are stealthy hunters. They hunt rodents rabbits small ungulates large ground birds and reptiles.


Location:
Gray fox inhabit most of North America from southern Canada to Central America.
Habitat:
Gray fox are found in decidious woodlands, occasionally, they forage for fruit and insects.
Physical Description:
Gray fox look like small dogs with bushy tails. Characteristic features include strong neck, grizzled upper parts, and black tipped tail. Males are slightly larger than females. Gray fox range from 80 to 1125 mm in length; the tail measures275 to 443 mm. Gray fox typically weigh 3.6 to 6.8 kg.
Reproduction:
Gray fox are monogamous. Breeding season occurs between February and March. A litter ranges from 1 to 7 pups. Pups begin to hunt with their parents when they are about 3 months old. At about 4 months pups are able to forage for themselves. Young disperse when they reach sexual maturity, typically, in autumn. Gray fox usually live 6 to 10 years in the wild.
Behavior:
Gray fox can climb trees to avoid predators or to eat fruit. Gray fox are nocturnal; they are most active at dusk and dawn. They communicate with eachother by scent.
Food Habits:
Gray fox hunt alone. They have a diverse diet. Important food sources include: eastern cottontail, voles, field mice, shrews and birds. Gray fox are omnivorous, supplementing their diet with fruits and vegetables.



Location:
House mice usually live in close association with humans. They may also live in cultivated fields, fencerows, and wooded areas, but they seldom go far from buildings. Some mice may live in fields and move into barns or houses when the weather gets cold.
Physical Description:
House mice grow to length of 65 to 95 mm long and the taile is about 60 to 105 mm long. Fur colors range from black to light brown. They weigh about 12 to 30 g.
Reproduction:
House mice are polygynous. Breeding occurs throughout the year. A litter contains about 3 to 12 baby mice. Females typically have 5 to 10 litters per year. Gestation takes about 20 days. Offspring are born naked and blind. They get fur in about 10 days. Their eyes open in about 2 weeks and they are weaned at 3 weeks. They reach sexual maturity at about 6 weeks. Most mice do not live longer than a 18 months.
Behavior:
House mice make nests. They are generally nocturnal. They usually do not travel more than 50 feet from their established homes.
Food Habits:
In the wild, house mice eat many kinds of plants. They eat seeds, fleshy roots, leaves and stems. They eat insects and carrion when available. When living near humans they may consume glue, soap, other household materials, and any human food that is accessible.


Location:
Townsend's Mole only inhabit the Northwest region of North America, from northwest California to British Columbia. Populations are only found west of the Cascade Mountains. In California populations are found only in the Redwood forests.
Habitat:
Townsend's Mole occupy moist lowland areas. It is found to live in floodplains(subsurface), meadows, hayfields, pastures, residential lawns, praires, and fir forests.
Physical Description:
Townsend's Mole is the largest mole species in North America. It has a purplish-gray to black fur. Weight ranges from 100 170 g. Length is between 179 to 237 mm. Males tend to be larger than females. The Townsend's Mole has many characteristic features are adaptations to a fossorial lifestyle. It has broad forepaws that act as shovels. It has internal ears, reduced eyes, and its nostrils face up.
Reproduction:
Townsend's mole are polygynandrous. Mating occurs between November and February. The average litter produces 3 offspring. Gestation is about 28 to 42 days. At birth they do not have recognizable eyes and the claws have not hardened. Fur begins to grow at 22 days and typically is complete in 8 days; at this time a typical mole weighs 60 to 80 grams. Moles live in their nest until 30 to 36 days. These mole are sexually mature at 10 months of age. An average Mole may live for 3 breeding seasons.
Behavior:
Townsend's mole are fossorial. An individual mole constructs a permanent tunnel system tunnels are typically 15, 20 cm below ground. Shallower tunnels may be constructed to search for food or mats during the mating season.


Location:
North American Porcupine inhabit most of North Aermica. They are found throughout the the northeast and west regions of the United States.
Habitat:
Porcupine can live in many different kinds of habitat. They can be found in varied climates and elevations. Porcupine can live in deciduous forests, open tundra, and desert chaparral. In the Pacific Northwest, Porcupine are primarily ground dwelling. Some porcupine are tree dwelling. The amount of time that a porcupine spends on the ground is related to the amount of ground cover available for protection against predators. Porcupine usually sleep in dens; rock dens are used when ground dens are not available. If there is not a suitable den available a porcupine might rest in a tree.
Physical Description:
Porcupine range in length from 60 to 90 cm and weigh between 5 and 14 kg. Distinct to porcupine is a body covered in quills. Some of the quills have white on black markings. These are visible at night; they alert nocturnal predators to the danger a porcupine may present. An average porcupine has about 30,000 quills.
Reproduction:
Porcupine breeding occurs in October and November; breeding occurs one time per year. Females attract many males by vocalizing and marking scents. The males compete to determine dominance. The dominant male porcupine mates with many females, but only when they are willing. Gestation is about 210 days. Newborn porcupine weigh between 400 and 530 g. Porcupine offspring are nursed for about 4 months. They become independent of their mothers at about 5 months. They do not become sexually mature for about 2 and a half years. In the wild, porcupine can live up to 18 years.
Behavior:
Porcupine have a well developed social structure, though they spend most of their time in alone. In the winter they may share a den. And they may forage in groups. Porcupines in a group is usually a response to a predator. Male and Female defend their territories from the same sex. Male and Female territories may be overlapping.
Food Habits:
Porcupine are herbivores. Diet is consistent, with changes due to plant chemistry. A crucial nutritional resource is nitrogen. In the winter, porcupine may eat bark, twigs, and evergreen needles. These are relatively poor sources of nitrogen; porcupine lose weight and move toward starvation in the winter.


Location:
North American River otters once inhabtited much of the United States. Now, populations in eastern, central, and southern United States are rare or locally extinct.
Habitat:
North American river otters are found near a permanent food supply and easy access to water. They can live in freshwater and coastal marine habitat. They may be found in rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, and estuaries. They can adapt to warm and cold latitudes at varying elevations. They are sensitive to pollution and disappear from areas with polluted waters.
Physical Description:
North American River otter have long bodies with thick tails and short legs. They are semi-aquatic. They have dark brown to black fur. The fur is dense and insulates the animals in water. Their feet are webbed with claws. Otters typically have a body length of 889 to 1300 mm. The tail length varies from 300 to 507 mm. The weight may vary from 5 to 14 kg. Males are slightly larger than females.
Reproduction:
Males and female only associate during mating season. Males will often breed with many females. Mating season is between late winter and early spring. Gestation takes about 60 days. Although birth may occur up to a ear after mating. Birth of offspring occur from November to May. Typically, there are 1 to 6 young per litter. They are born relatively helpless with fur. They can open there eyes 1 month after birth. They stop nursing around 3 months. They become independent at 6 months to a year. North American river otter reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age. They live about 8 to 9 years in the wild. In captivity an otter may live to 21 years.
Behavior:
North American River otter are solitary animals. The only exception is mothers caring for their young. They are thought of as playful animals. They have many activities which at appearance look to be playing. Some are used to practice hunting techniques and to strengthen social bonds. They are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for 8 minutes. They can run 29 km/hr. They are visible during the day but hunt at night.
Food Habits:
North American River otter are omnivorous. Occasionally, they feed on aquatic plants. Majority of their diet consists of aquatic organisms like amphibians, fish, crayfish, crabs and other invertebrate. Prey is eaten immediately unless it is large in which case it may be eaten on land.


Location:
California Vole can be found along the Pacific Coast of North America. They can be found in wooldand, shrubland, and grassland areas.
Habitat:
California vole inhabit areas of oak woodlands, grasslands and broad leaved chaparral along the Pacific Coast. They can be found on marshy ground, saltwater and freshwater locations, wet meadows, coastal wetlands, and grassy hillsides which are preferred macro-habitats. They are semifossorial.
Physical Description:
California vary in size depending on location. Southern populations are may be much larger than northern populations. In the north the total length may range from 139 to 207 mm. Tails range in length from 39 to 68 mm. They weigh between 30 and 68 g. They are brown to dark brown in color.
Reproduction:
California vole are monogomous. If populations become unbalanced they may display polygynous traits. In these sorts of populations males defend territory with grass and females defend areas with fruit. Adult males cannibalize young that are not theirs. Females may abort thier litters if exposed to phermones from unfamiliar males. It is possible to have 4 to 5 litters per season. Mating season is depends on many conditions. It usually starts with the first rains and ends when summer drying out the vegetation. Gestation takes about 21 days. Litters range in size from 1 to 11. Young weigh about 2.5 g at birth. They are weaned at two weeks old. It only takes 3 weeks for females to reach sexual maturity and males 5 weeks. A vole can live up to a year but on average only lives a few months.
Behavior:
California vole are most active during dusk and dawn. They are a social species. Though they become territorial during mating season.
Food Habits:
California Vole are herbivores. Diet consists mostly grasses and roots. It may also include forbs, sedges, and fruits.


Location:
Raccoons can be found in southern Canada all the way south to northern South America. They have been introduced to Asia and Europe.
Habitat:
Raccoons are very adaptable, they can be found in many habitat. They often live near humans. They require access to water. They prefer woodland areas. Though they can be found in farmlands, suburban and urban areas. Raccoon like to build dens in trees. They might use woodchuck burrows , caves, mines, abandoned buildings, barns garages, sewers or houses.
Physical Description:
During mating season males expand their territory to include more females as mates. Females may be found in a males den temporarily. Though there is no association of males and females after the mating season. Typically, raccoon will have 1 litter per year. The size of a litter ranges from 3 to 7. Gestation is about 64 days. Females reach sexual maturity at 1 year old and males at 2 years old. Young are born with their eyes closed. It takes about 18 to 24 days for the eyes to open. The young are weaned at about 2 months. At 5 months old young forage with their mother. Young become independent during spring; they are about 1 year old. They may den nearby. Raccoon may live up to 16 years in the wild. Though on average a raccoon may live 5 years.
Behavior:
Raccoon are nocturnal. They do not hibernate, but in cold temperature they may sleep for a long time. Raccoon gait looks like a shuffle, though they can reach speeds of 15 mph on the ground. They are agile climbers and are not affected by a 35 to 40 foot fall.
Food Habits:
Raccoon are omnivorous. They eat fruits, nuts, wild grapes, cherries, apples, persimmons, berries, acorns, and many other fruits or nuts. They also eat crayfish, insects, rodents, frogs, fish, and bird eggs. They have adapted to include human trash in their diet.


Location:
Striped skunks are native to the Nearctic region. They can be found throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico.
Habitat:
Striped skunk prefer open areas with a mixture of habitat. They like woods, grasslands, and agricultural clearings. They are ususally with 2 miles of water. They can be found in suburban areas; the buildings provide them with cover.
Physical Description:
Striped skunk have a distinctive pattern. Black fur with a white stripe that splits into two white stripes. Skunk are about the size of a domesticated cat.
Reproduction:
Males are solitary. Males and females only associate for the time required to mate. Mating season is from mid February until mid March. Gestation takes about 70 days. A litter usually consists of 5 to 6 young. Striped skunk are born in a fragile state; they are blind, deaf, and immature. They nurse for about 6 weeks, then they begin to forage. They break away from the den after 1 year; they are adult size. Skunk typically live to 2 to 3 years old.
Behavior:
Striped skunk are nocturnal; they spend most of the day sleeping in burrows. They prefer to find a den already dug out, but can make their own if necessary. A den may have 6 females and their children.
Food Habits:
Striped skunk are omnivore. They eat a wide variety of things including, small mammals, insects, birds and their eggs, and crustaceans. They also eat fruits, grasses, leaves, buds, grains, nuts and carrion. Striped skunks are opportunistic and their diet changes with the time of year and availability of resources.

Reptiles[edit | edit source]



Location:
Common garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis are native to the nearctic region. They inhabit most of North America, with exception to the arid southwestern United States.
Habtitat:
Common garter snakes can survive extreme conditions. They are highly adaptable and found in many areas. They may inhabit many different types of areas: meadows, marshes, woodlands, and hillsides. Though they prefer grassy areas, usually, located near water. There are many places that are suitable habitat for Common garter snake in the wild, suburban and urban areas.
Physical Description:
Common garter snakes color patterns vary. A typical pattern will have three light stripes along the length of the body. One stripe is on the center of the back and the two others are on the sides. The body is black, brown, gray, or olive. The stripes can be brown, blue, white, yellow, or greenish. A common garter snakes grow to be about 46 to 137 cm in length. Males are smaller than females, though they have longer tails. Young common garter snakes are born 12.5 to 23 cm in length.
Reproduction:
Mating season begins in spring, when common garter snake emerge from hibernation. Males exit the den first, and wait for the females. Females choose a partner, and travel to their summer habitat to feed and find a birthplace. Common garter snake give birth to live young. Gestation is about 2 to 3 months. Females in the norther parts give birth to about 4 to 80 young between July and October. The average litter is about 25. Baby garter snakes are independent at birth. They must survive on their own. The average common garter snake lives about 2 years. Most common garter snakes live 6 to 10 years in captivity, although one was reported to live 20 years.
Behavior:
Common garter snakes are active during the day and are active through a wider range of temperature than many snakes. Hibernation is from late October until March or early April. They hibernate in groups to conserve body heat.

Food Habitats:
Common garter snake eat earthworms, amphibians, slugs, leeches, insects, snails, crayfish, small fish, and other snakes. On occasion a small mammal, lizard or baby bird is eaten. Common garter snake use an excellent sense of smell to find prey. Common garter snake saliva may be toxic to small prey.


Conclusion
Many different kinds of animals benefit from the habitat provided by the marshes.

Links


This is a list of interesting links.


Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary

Birds of the Arcata Marsh

Friends of the Arcata Marsh (F.O.A.M.)

Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Center - City of Arcata


Sources


Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center

Breeding Center for Endangered Arabian Wildlife

Buffalo Zoo

Bureau of Reclamation – U.S. Department of the Interior

California – Department of Fish and Game

KOI TV

Mammals of New York

National Park Service

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides

Sky Valley Environments

Animal Diversity Web - University of Michigan

Western Ecological Research Center – USGS