The Spatial Ecology of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in
The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) has a large distribution
spanning much of the eastern United States. Because temperature, habitat
type, prey composition and abundance, and a variety of other factors may
dictate reptile behavior, populations of conspecific species may exhibit
behavioral differences across latitudinal and elevational gradients.
Using radio telemetry, we tracked 10 adult Timber Rattlesnakes (7 males,
3 females) from May 2016 to June 2017 in southeastern Louisiana to
examine the spatial ecology of male and non-gravid female snakes. Mean
annual and seasonal home ranges of non-gravid female Timber Rattlesnakes
were not statistically different from that of males. Mean seasonal home
range sizes and average distances travelled of both sexes was smallest
in winter, and had a general increasing trend beginning in spring with a
peak in fall. These increases seemed to coincide with the breeding
season, taking place from early July until the end of November.
Comparison of this study with other studies throughout its distribution
could have implications towards future management of conservation for
other southern populations of Timber Rattlesnakes.