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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P06) Timber Rattlesnake Home Range Estimates and Habitat Use on Forestry Lands in Ohio

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AUTHORS. Andrew S. Hoffman, Annalee M. Tutterow, William E. Peterman – Ohio State University

ABSTRACT. Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) have declined dramatically throughout the northern periphery of their range, particularly in the Midwest. Here, remaining populations are concentrated on scattered Federal and State Forestry lands. Concerns regarding the potential for conflict between current forestry practices and resident timber rattlesnake populations prompted us to investigate rattlesnake home range size and habitat use using VHF telemetry on State Forestry lands in southeastern Ohio. From June 2016-October 2018, we located telemetered rattlesnakes 2-3 times per week. We assessed multi-scale habitat use at the individual and population level in relation to timber harvest and prescribed fire history. Our home range estimates were similar to those presented in previous studies from other states, but varied substantially within and among sex and age classes. We also observed substantial individual variation in habitat selection, though age class and sex strongly influenced selection among different management units. We found little evidence that snakes at our study site avoid previously burned or cut patches and observed some indication that snakes select for these disturbed habitats. Future studies will seek to link specific resource needs to different management approaches in order to determine why snakes are selecting for certain management units disproportionately.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Attendees (4)