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Habitat use in free-ranging pine snakes, Pituophis melanoleucus in New Jersey pine barrens


Habitat use in free-ranging pine snakes, Pituophis melanoleucus in New Jersey pine barrens



Herpetologica 441: 48-55



ISSN/ISBN: 0018-0831

DOI: 10.2307/3892197

Five male and five female pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) were fitted with radio transmitters for 1 yr in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Habitat selection by radio-tracked snakes was compared with that of 51 hand-captured snakes located by searching the same study area in the previous 8 yr. Habitat selection of radio-tracked snakes (but not activity patterns) differed from that of the hand-captured snakes, and from that of points distributed randomly in the available habitat. Radio-tracked pine snakes selected pine-oak forests and spent equal time in undisturbed and disturbed habitats. Non-radio-tracked snakes were found over 90% of the time in disturbed habitats. Snakes were found in dense vegetation that provided shade and moist, cool ground cover. Snakes were inactive 41% of the time, basked 36% of the time, moved 20% of the time, and nested 3% of the time.

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Accession: 021115045

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