Roads can directly impact animal populations by increasing the risk of mortality; however, a more subtle ecological effect may lie in the way roads impede gene flow by creating barriers to animal movement. We investigated the effect a road network, containing both paved and unpaved surfaces, has on the movement patterns of the Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in the Long Point region of Ontario, Canada by radio-tracking 17 adult snakes over two years. We used telemetry data collected in the field to infer the minimum number of road crossings made by snakes, and random walk simulations to estimate the number of road crossings snakes would have made if they moved randomly in relation to roads. Comparing the inferred and expected number of crossings allowed us to test the hypothesis that roads constrain movements because snakes avoid crossing them. Overall, the road network did not impede snake movements. When examined separately, however, we showed that road substrate affected movement: snakes avoided crossing paved roads while they crossed sand roads readily. Male and female snakes crossed roads at the same frequency. While the risk of road mortality is reduced by road avoidance, such avoidance of paved roads may contribute to the genetic isolation and further decline of this species-at-risk.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.