INTEGRATIVE APPROACH FOR EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF LANDSCAPE FEATURES ON SNAKE MOVEMENT BEHAVIOR: CASE STUDY WITH TIMBER RATTLESNAKES (Crotalus horridus) AND ROADWAYS**
Historically, using radio telemetry to estimate the total extent of space used by individual snakes (i.e., home range size) has represented an important tool for inferring movement-based responses to prominent landscape features, such as roads. However, recent works have shown that traditional home range estimators carry significant limitations, and often hinder robust evaluation of spatial responses to specific landscape features. Furthermore, the estimate of an animal’s home range size alone largely ignores the equally important temporal dimension of animal movement, as individuals can alter the frequency and duration of movements independent of spatial shifts in home range sizes. In an effort to develop a method enabling a more comprehensive evaluation of the spatial and temporal movement snakes to landscape features, we are integrating emerging spatial analyses with tri-axial accelerometry in Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the lower Piedmont in central Georgia. Spatial data from radio telemetry will be used to calculate dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Models (dBBMMs) for estimating and visualizing movement pathways of individual rattlesnakes. Accelerometers will simultaneously provide long-term and continuous activity budgets to quantify “real-time” movement patterns. By combining these methods, we hope to provide a widely applicable and improved methodological framework for investigating the interactions between snakes and landscape heterogeneity.
GCSU Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences provided funding for this project
Tipton, Anna F. and DeSantis, Dominic L.
"INTEGRATIVE APPROACH FOR EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF LANDSCAPE FEATURES ON SNAKE MOVEMENT BEHAVIOR: CASE STUDY WITH TIMBER RATTLESNAKES (Crotalus horridus) AND ROADWAYS**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 79, No. 1, Article 58.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol79/iss1/58