Habitat selection in an Ontario population of the snake, Elaphe obsoleta.

Patrick J Weatherhead, M. B. Charland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During the bird breeding season black rat snakes showed a preference for field habitat although in both the field and deciduous forest the snake points were significantly clustered along the habitat interface. Following the bird breeding season, field and deciduous forests habitats were used in proportion to their availability and the preference for the ecotone was no longer found in field samples. There was limited evidence of non-random habitat use within habitats with regard to both plant species composition and vegetation structure. Inactive sites were diverse but all were located on the forest-field interface, had open exposure to direct sun and provided shelter for the snakes. Ideal habitat for black rat snakes thus appears to be a small scale mosaic of field and forest. Their disappearance from other parts of their range in Canada may be related to the disappearance of such mosaics due to land clearing for agriculture. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Herpetology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Elaphe obsoleta
snake
habitat preferences
habitat selection
snakes
Ontario
habitat
habitats
deciduous forests
deciduous forest
breeding season
bird
birds
ecotones
ecotone
forest habitats
vegetation structure
habitat use
shelter
Canada

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Habitat selection in an Ontario population of the snake, Elaphe obsoleta. / Weatherhead, Patrick J; Charland, M. B.

In: Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.01.1985, p. 12-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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