Snake mortality and cover board effectiveness along exclusion fencing in British Columbia, Canada
Keywords:Coluber, conservation, Crotalus, Great Basin Gophersnake, Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Pituophis, reptiles, Western Yellow-bellied Racer
We report on snake mortalities along exclusion fencing in southern British Columbia, showing Western Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) deaths were disproportionately higher than our encounter rates with the species within the snake community. This suggests racers were susceptible to fence mortality more so than Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus o. oreganus) or Great Basin Gophersnakes (Pituouphis catenifer deserticola). Datalogger recordings revealed temperatures under cover boards were well above the tolerable temperatures of the three snake species, although the boards appeared to temper ambient heat more efficiently than natural vegetation. We caution that the effects of fencing and cover boards may vary across ecosystems and snake species.
Copyright for Canadian Field-Naturalist content is held by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, except for content published by employees of federal government departments, in which case the copyright is held by the Crown. In-copyright content available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. For usage of content at the BHL for purposes other than those allowed under this licence, contact us.
To request use of copyright material, please contact our editor, Dr. Dwayne Lepitzki: editor -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca