2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Habitat Use, Home Range Size, and Movement Rates in Two Sympatric
Pitvipers (Crotalinae) in Far West Texas


Calvin H. Schaefer
Dr. Chad Montgomery , Faculty Mentor

Niche partitioning, or differential resource use is a possible explanation for the coexistence of multiple species, which would theoretically be in competition. In this study, we examined two sympatric desert snakes, the Eastern Black-Tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus) and Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) on Indio Mountain Research Station in Hudspeth County, Texas for evidence of partitioning along the spatial dimension of the niche. We tracked the movements of the two species using radiotelemetry and analyzed macrohabitat and microhabitat data using a combination of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and contingency table analyses. Evidence of niche partitioning along the spatial dimension of the niche exists between the two species, with C. ornatus showing a higher affinity for southwest facing, rocky slopes and C. atrox showing a relatively diverse use of all habitats with a slight preference for northeastern slopes.

Keywords: Rattlesnake, Spatial Ecology, Niche partitioning

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Poster

Session: 4-10
Location: https://flipgrid.com/7ba08930
Time: 0:00

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