The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
Authors: Leroy Soria-Díaz, Claudia C. Astudillo-Sánchez, Yuriana Gómez-Ortiz, Javier Manjarrez, Víctor Mundo-Hernández, Tamara Rubio-Blanco & Hublester Domínguez-Vega
Abstract: Human activities have caused several changes in biotic communities all over the world. Some species maintain viable populations in altered environments through different adaptations, however, knowledge in this regard is scarce for certain taxa, including reptiles. We analysed the detectability and habitat selection of the rattlesnake Crotalus triseriatus to contribute to our knowledge about how this species responds to anthropogenic landscape change. Rattlesnakes were monitored for two years in two anthropized landscapes using visual encounter surveys. We analysed detectability in relation to climatic factors and human activity, and habitat selection was analysed in native and non-native vegetation. Our study shows that detectability of C. triseriatus is differentially affected in anthropized landscapes; human activity may be determinant in
landscapes such as agricultural fields, whilst climatic factors may be determinant in landscapes where people are less active such as the protected areas within urban parks. The analyses of habitat selection shows that native vegetation is crucial for the persistence of C. triseriatus in the studied landscapes. Several strategies may allow rattlesnakes to persist in different anthropized landscapes; nonetheless, native habitat remnants should be protected in anthropized areas to conserve wildlife.
Keywords: Anthropized landscapes, behavioural adaptations, Mexico, native habitat remnants, urban herpetology