The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 05. Movement rates of the smooth snake Coronella austriaca (Colubridae) A radio telemetric study

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Open Access

pp.140-146

Authors: A. H. Gent And I. F. Spellerberg

Abstract: The movement behaviour of free ranging smooth snakes (Coronella austriaca) was studied by radio-telemetry. The species exhibits a low median hourly-movement rate (0.54 m h-1 , range = 0.00 to 44.26 m h-1, n = 1 074) and a correspondingly low dailymovement rate (median = 13.30 m day-1, range = 0.00 to 166.81 m day-1, n= 138). There were no significant differences in movement rates between the sexes. Smooth snakes do not generally occupy specific features (such as dens) and move through parts of sites at differing rates; some animals will remain within small areas for some while whilst others move through an area quite quickly .The effect of attachment of radio-transmitters on the behaviour of the snakes was investigated via a short laboratory study using time-lapse video recording. Only minor differences were observed between movement rates and behaviours of tagged and untagged animals and no differences were detected for changes in body weight over the period. These observations indicated that the attachment of a radio-transmitter did not significantly affect the behaviour of smooth snakes.

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