We conducted a 13-yr study of Crotalus pricei in Arizona's Chiricahua Mountains, capturing 306 individual snakes and recapturing snakes on 155 occasions. Juveniles shed and fed more frequently and grew more quickly than adults. Spiny lizard (Sceloporus) scales were found in 78% of fecal samples, making Sceloporus the most common prey item for both juveniles and adults. Males became larger than females at 5 yr of age, a year or two after females reached reproductive size. Although 45% of adult females were gravid, reproduction was not typically biennial and larger snakes were more likely to be gravid than smaller adult snakes. Survival rate (mean ± SE) at our most-studied site was 0.707 ± 0.0334 and detectability was 0.309 ± 0.0386; detectability was positively correlated with number of search hours and negatively correlated with dry weather. Mean population size at this site was 67 snakes, and there was no evidence of a population decline over the course of the study. However, age class structure was skewed toward younger snakes at the site, probably due to illegal collection of snakes for the pet trade.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1