Document Type

Article

Abstract

In an effort to provide information to guide habitat management for the Lake Erie watersnake Nerodia sipedon insularum, a federally threatened and Ohio state endangered species, we used radiotelemetry to obtain spatial habitat data for adult snakes during the summer active season and during winter hibernation. During the summer active season, terrestrial habitat use was limited to a narrow band of shoreline. Among individuals, maximum distance inland from shore ranged from 1 to 50 m (mean = 8 m) and linear extent of shoreline ranged from 30 to 1,360 m (mean = 261 m). Winter hibernation occurred at varying distances inland with individual hibernation sites ranging from 1 to 580 m (mean = 29 m) from shore. Habitat use did not differ between males and females. Existing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service habitat management guidelines suggest that ground-disturbing activities within potential hibernation areas (defined as terrestrial habitat within 161 m of shore) should be avoided in winter to prevent harm to hibernating snakes. They suggest further that excavation and removal of shrubs, standing or downed trees, root masses, animal burrows, piled rocks, cliffs, or bedrock within 21 m of shore should be avoided in summer to prevent harm to active snakes. Given that Lake Erie watersnakes have recovered to the point where delisting is being proposed, these habitat guidelines appear to be sufficient. However, maintaining voluntary compliance with habitat guidelines and meeting the need for continued public outreach will be vital to ensure long-term persistence.

Publication Date

11-1-2010

Original Citation

Stanford, K. M., R. B. King, and D. Wynn. 2010. Summer and winter spatial habitat use by the Lake Erie Watersnake. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 1:122-130.

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences

ISSN

1944-687X

Language

eng

Publisher

fwspubs

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.