The Oakland Zoo plans to expand into sensitive, native habitat in order to feature native animals lost to habitat destruction. The zoo plans to develop into Knowland Park, a well known locality for the endangered Alameda Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis euryxanthus) and the California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii).
Alameda Striped Racer [Whipsnake]
California Red-legged Frog
Excerpts from the article:
"Activists have long pointed out the irony of the Zoological Society destroying sensitive natural habitat in order to build an artificial exhibit that would feature animals that have disappeared from the East Bay because of habitat loss."
"The zoo will never, ever live this down," said John Taylor, a UC Berkeley professor of plant and microbial biology who has analyzed some of the unique features of the park. "If we build something on top of the most interesting habitat, we can’t get it back. … That would be one of those really sad events, where to celebrate something — native plants and animals — you destroy them."
"It’s outrageous. The project is going to destroy what we know is good whipsnake habitat [for the actual zoo expansion] … and substitute it with much poorer habitat that whipsnakes don’t use and never will use."