The effects of human disturbance on movements and concealment behavior of Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox) were studied at the Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona. We predicted that C. atrox would move more frequently and greater distances, and show higher degrees of concealment in disturbed areas when compared to undisturbed areas. Twenty-five rattlesnakes were equipped with radio-transmitters between July 2005 and September 2011. During the active season, but excluding the mating season, C. atrox were less likely to move while in highly disturbed areas than when they were in undisturbed areas. During the mating season, however, C. atrox were significantly more likely to move while in highly disturbed areas than when they were in undisturbed areas. During the inactive season, disturbance had no significant effect on the probability of movement. In all seasons, C. atrox were more likely to be concealed in highly disturbed areas.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2