A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF HOME RANGE AND MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF COASTAL AND INLAND PACIFIC RATTLESNAKES.
Sebastian Gonzales; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; 680 Skyline Dr., San Luis Obispo, Ca, 93405; (530) 315-6031; sgonza86@calpoly.edu; Hayley Crowell, Emily Taylor
Few studies have compared home range size among different populations of snake within a given species. In this study, we compared the home ranges and daily movement patterns of coastal and inland populations of adult, male Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) with the goal of identifying any differences across populations that could potentially be attributed to differences in their local climate. Using radio telemetry, we tracked 27 snakes (n/coastal=14, n/inland=13), from April to October of 2017. Individuals were tracked 4-5 times per week at random times throughout the day, and location was recorded via handheld GPS. Larger mean 95% home ranges were observed in the two inland sites compared to the two coastal sites (t-test; p=0.0172), while 50% home ranges were similar across all four populations. No difference in mean daily movement was observed between inland and coastal sites. However there was significant difference in mean daily movement between the two individual inland locations (Tukey HSD; p=0.0169). Potential causes for the observed differences in home range size across these populations include varying levels of thermal quality as well as relative food scarcity within the coastal and inland habitats.
Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles III   Student Paper