Juvenile western rattlesnake movement patterns and habitat use on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve

Many animals undertake seasonal migrations in order to access habitats that are critical for activities such as breeding, feeding, or overwintering. In BC, western rattlesnakes undertake small-scale migrations between their overwintering dens and their summer grounds, allowing them access to critical food resources and mates. The migratory patterns of adult rattlesnakes are relatively well studied in BC; comparatively little, however, is known about juvenile rattlesnakes. If management decisions are based solely on knowledge pertaining to adults, important variation that that might exist between different age classes may be not be accounted for. In this study, we will use radio-telemetry to track juvenile rattlesnakes to assess juvenile migration and will compare patterns with existing knowledge on adult movements. We will also model juvenile habitat selection by comparing used and available habitat. This knowledge will benefit the partner organization, Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, through bettering their ability to plan for conservation and land-use on their property.

Intern: 
Chloe Howarth
Faculty Supervisor: 
Karl Larsen
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: 
Program: