Woody plant succession is hypothesized to threaten many reptile populations by reducing the amount of solar energy available for thermoregulation. Mitigation via vegetation management is often recommended; however, the need for such management practices rarely has been evaluated. We examined the need for basking-site enhancement for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus c. catenatus; hereafter EMR) in New York, USA, where only 2 populations remain: one at an open-canopy site and another at a closed-canopy site. Microhabitat temperatures were substantially lower at the closed-canopy site, where EMRs selected the warmest available basking sites. Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in the open-canopy population selected basking sites that afforded greater cryptic cover. We recommend experimental reduction of shrub cover to improve EMR basking habitat at the closed-canopy site. More generally, we caution that management efforts to reduce shrub cover for basking EMRs should maintain adequate cryptic cover.
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.
Vol. 74 • No. 3