In September 2003, we monitored the movements of a postpartum Crotalus horridus (Timber Rattlesnake) and her four neonates via radiotelemetry. Upon dispersal, two neonates maintained a close association with the mother, but within one week they were making independent movements. Total movement distance by all five snakes during the first 10 days varied considerably (mother: 22 m; neonates: 3, 21, 49, and 154 m). Continued movements by neonates were independent and sporadic, with individuals staying several days in single locations. Excluding one neonate, all individuals converged to a single wooded, rocky hillside for hibernation (320 m from birth site). During their movements to the hibernaculum, one neonate was found with a subadult female and another neonate was found again with its mother. Our observations support the hypothesis that conspecific trails may be used by neonates during their initial den location.
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