Bullsnake, Pituophis catenifer sayi, Nesting Biology in Alberta

Jonathan D. Wright

Abstract


Bullsnakes were opportunistically observed at a site on Alberta’s Red Deer River at the northern extreme of their range near the town of Drumheller. This site is significant for its importance to the local nesting ecology of this snake. Data were collected from captured snakes, and individuals were marked and photographed to enable identification upon subsequent recapture. A minimum of 39 adult Bullsnakes were known to utilize a single bluff over a period spanning five years from 1998 to 2002. Fifteen gravid females were found over this span nesting in a single burrow complex. Bullsnakes were found to excavate their own nesting burrows at the site, and to show nest site fidelity. The congregation of numbers of these snakes at localized sites of importance to nesting biology renders them potentially vulnerable, and may present conservation challenges.

Keywords


Bullsnake; Pituophis catenifer sayi; nesting; hibernacula; fidelity; northern limit; Alberta

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v122i2.572



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