Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes
Stohlgren, Kevin Michael
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Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) are declining throughout their range. We used occupancy and population models to help direct future management objectives. Our occupancy analysis on Georgia’s barrier islands indicated that the influence of habitat composition varied with scale. The area of maritime forest negatively influenced occupancy rates at the 500- and 1000-m spatial scale, while the area of secondary dune habitat positively influenced occupancy rates at the 1000-m spatial scale. Landscape composition did not appear to influence occupancy rates at the 250-m spatial scale. Coastal management for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes should focus on protecting large tracts of secondary dune habitat. Our stage-based population models indicated that population growth was most sensitive to changes in adult survival rate. Management strategies for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes should aim to increase adult survival rate by reducing anthropogenic threats such as road mortality, collection for rattlesnake roundups, and malicious killings.