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1 March 2012 Movements and Habitat Use of Eastern Foxsnakes (Pantherophis gloydi) in Two Areas Varying in Size and Fragmentation
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Abstract
Determining how animals respond to habitat loss and fragmentation requires detailed studies of habitat use and behavior in regions that vary in their degree of fragmentation. As predators, snakes are an important component of ecosystems, yet little is known about how they respond behaviorally to habitat loss. Using radiotelemetry at two locations that differ in their habitat patch size, we examined habitat-use patterns at two spatial scales and movement patterns for the endangered Eastern Foxsnake (Phantherophis gloydi). Movement patterns were similar at the two locations, but individuals exhibited greater variation in home-range size, and males and gravid females dispersed further from hibernation sites within the larger natural habitat patch. Individuals from both locations preferred marsh at the home-range scale, but open dry habitat at the location scale. Within the smaller habitat patch, however, these preferences were accentuated with snakes avoiding agricultural fields. At the landscape scale, individual occurrence records were found closer to, and in areas with a higher density of, usable habitat than locations that are distributed randomly.
Jeffrey R. Row, Gabriel Blouin-Demers and Stephen C. Lougheed "Movements and Habitat Use of Eastern Foxsnakes (Pantherophis gloydi) in Two Areas Varying in Size and Fragmentation," Journal of Herpetology 46(1), (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.1670/10-262
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