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Accession Number 5005099

Title Spatial Ecology and Habitat Use of the Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) in Georgia

Project Description Abstract: The indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi), a large non-venomous reptile with a maximum

length of 2.6 m, inhabits xeric sand ridges to hydric forests and wetlands in Alabama, Georgia,

and Florida. The US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the species as threatened in 1978, but only

preliminary research has been completed since that time. Information is lacking to develop

suitable management guidelines for indigo snakes in Georgia. We propose to study adult indigo

snakes at replicated sites in Georgia by using radiotelemetry to determine the homerange,

survival, movement patterns, microhabitat use, landscape ecology, habitat selection, and site

fidelity by groups for sex, season, and year. Indigo snakes will be captured near winter denning

sites and fitted with implanted radio transmitters with a battery life expectancy of 36 months.

Growth rates will be calculated annually by recapturing snakes to determine if habitat differences

are related to survival and growth. Radiolocations will be collected for each snake for up to three

years during active seasons by locating the individuals visually when possible. Home range will be

analyzed by minimum convex polygon and kernel methods for use in comparison with other

studies and for use in understanding the snakes habitat requirements in space and time.

Information will be used to develop management guidelines and to provide basic life history data

for conservation of the indigo snake and its critical habitat.

Keywords drymarchon couperi, georgia, habitat, home range, indigo snake, reptiles, spatial ecology,


Principal Joseph M Meyers, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; Michael J

Investigators Conroy, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:;

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