Study

No place like home: An experimental comparison of reintroduction strategies using snakes

  • Published source details Roe J.H., Frank M.R., Gibson S.E., Attum O. & Kingsbury B.A. (2010) No place like home: An experimental comparison of reintroduction strategies using snakes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 1253-1261.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Snakes & lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Snakes

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Snakes & lizards

    A controlled study in 2008–2009 in a site of mixed hardwood forest and scrub patches in Indiana, USA (Roe et al. 2010) found that head-started northern water snakes Nerodia sipedon sipedon had lower survival than resident snakes, as well as lower movement and growth. Following release, 8 of 12 head-started snakes survived until hibernation (67% survival over 5 months), but none survived one year, whereas seven of 12 resident snakes survived until hibernation (58% survival) and four survived to the end of the year (33% survival). Head-started snakes had smaller home ranges (head-started: 2 ha; resident: 5 ha) and grew less than resident snakes (head-started: 0.03 cm/day & 0.05 g/day; resident: 0.07 cm/day & 0.80 g/day). Head-started snakes also showed less surface activity than residents (reported as activity index). In July 2007, seven pregnant snakes were captured and gave birth in captivity before being returned to their capture site. Sixty newborn snakes (30 females, 30 males) were housed in small plastic boxes (20 x 65 x 13 cm) for 11 months and 12 snakes (9 females, 3 males) were chosen for release. Twelve resident snakes (matched in terms of size and sex) were captured in May 2008. All snakes were implanted with radio transmitters and were located once/week from May–September, every two weeks from October–November and March–April, and monthly from December–February.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

  2. Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Snakes

    A controlled study in 2008–2009 in a site of mixed hardwood forest and scrub patches in Indiana, USA (10) found that translocated northern water snakes Nerodia sipedon sipedon had lower survival compared to resident snakes, as well as larger home ranges but similar growth rate. Three of 10 translocated snakes survived five months (annual survival estimated at 20 %) to hibernation but none survived one year compared to seven of 12 resident snakes surviving to hibernation (58% survival) and four surviving to the end of the year (annual survival estimated at 45 %). Translocated snakes had larger home ranges (translocated: 14 ha; resident: 5 ha) but similar growth compared to resident snakes (translocated: 0.07 cm/day & 1.25 g/day; resident: 0.07 cm/day & 0.80 g/day). Translocated snakes were also more likely to leave the release area (40% of snakes) than residents (0%). In May 2008, ten snakes were captured from a site 5 km from the release site, along with 12 resident snakes. All were implanted with radio transmitters (7–11 days in captivity for recovery) before being released. Snakes were located once/week during the active season and once/two weeks when entering and leaving hibernation.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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