A critical 1st step in understanding the basic ecology of any predator is to delineate their suite of prey species. In this paper we provide data on the diet of 2 threatened snake species in British Columbia, the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) and the Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer). By dissecting the gastrointestinal tracts of roadkilled specimens, we identified a total of 11 different prey types. Unlike what has been previously reported elsewhere for the 2 species, we found a strikingly high degree of overlap between the diets, as shown through Morisita's similarity index (Ĉ = 0.98). The Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) was the most frequently identified prey type for both species, followed by shrews (Sorex spp.). Other prey species consumed by Western Rattlesnakes were approximately even in abundance and in low numbers. Gophersnakes had a wider range of prey consumed at moderate frequencies, including voles (Microtus spp.) and birds. We also detected prey in a relatively high percentage of our specimens, likely due to our method of analyzing roadkills rather than sampling live, free-ranging animals. These prey data contribute a better understanding of the natural history and conservation issues facing these 2 threatened snake species, providing insight into how they coexist in a habitat increasingly destroyed and fragmented by human development.
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.