Effectiveness of Short-Distance Translocation and its Effects on Western Rattlesnakes

  • Published source details Brown J.R., Bishop C.A. & Brooks R.J. (2009) Effectiveness of Short-Distance Translocation and its Effects on Western Rattlesnakes. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73, 419-425.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate problem reptiles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Translocate problem reptiles

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2005 in one valley of shrubs and coniferous woodland in British Columbia, Canada (Brown et al. 2009) found that short distance translocations of problem western rattlesnakes Crotalus oreganus did not prevent most snakes returning to areas of human activity. Twelve of 14 (86%) translocated snakes returned to the area in which they were captured within an average of 20 days. Snakes returned to areas of human activity 1–7 times each (average of 3). Two snakes from the translocated group were killed by humans (2 of 14, 14%), whereas no mortality was observed in the group of snakes away from humans. In April 2004–August 2005, fourteen adult male rattlesnakes were monitored (by radiotracking) in an area with human activity (235 ha) and 14 were monitored in an area without human activity (235 ha).  When a snake was found in an area of human activity, it was translocated a short distance (average 500 m) to a habitat free of human development. In 2004–2005, snakes were located every two days during the active season (April–October), with five individuals tracked during both years.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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