Habitat use and movement patterns of the Northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus o. Oreganus) in British Columbia




Gomez, Liumila Michelle

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The selective use of habitat is a fundamental aspect of ecology, and differential patterns of habitat use reflect the underlying cues that guide selection. I assessed the habitat use and movement patterns of Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus o. oreganus) during the summers of 2005 and 2006 near Kamloops British Columbia, Canada. Contrary to my expectations, rattlesnakes used upper - elevation forested habitat when available and traveled farther from the den than previously reported for this species. Though the distance and orientation of travel differed among individuals, there was an apparent trend for snakes from one site to travel farther from the den than snakes from a second site. Snakes often were associated with structurally stable cover objects and small mammal sign in microhabitats with less canopy cover than otherwise available. Results from this study have implications for management and conservation of the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.



Northern Pacific rattlesnake, British Columbia, habitat