Influence of seasonality and gestation on habitat selection by northern Mexican gartersnakes (Thamnophis eques megalops)

Tiffany A. Sprague, Heather Bateman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March–October), gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November–February), gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0191829
JournalPLoS One
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Colubridae
Thamnophis
Wetlands
habitat preferences
Ecosystem
pregnancy
Pregnancy
Conservation
habitats
Natural resources
Ecology
edge effects
Restoration
Transmitters
highlands
wetlands
Managers
constructed wetlands
endangered species
overwintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Influence of seasonality and gestation on habitat selection by northern Mexican gartersnakes (Thamnophis eques megalops). / Sprague, Tiffany A.; Bateman, Heather.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 13, No. 1, e0191829, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{57fa8c0e32084f4fab0f4227d58457f9,
title = "Influence of seasonality and gestation on habitat selection by northern Mexican gartersnakes (Thamnophis eques megalops)",
abstract = "Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March–October), gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November–February), gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.",
author = "Sprague, {Tiffany A.} and Heather Bateman",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0191829",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of seasonality and gestation on habitat selection by northern Mexican gartersnakes (Thamnophis eques megalops)

AU - Sprague, Tiffany A.

AU - Bateman, Heather

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March–October), gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November–February), gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.

AB - Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March–October), gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November–February), gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041214191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85041214191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0191829

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0191829

M3 - Article

C2 - 29381753

AN - SCOPUS:85041214191

VL - 13

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 1

M1 - e0191829

ER -