Home ranges and habitat use of Louisiana Pine Snakes Effects of KR Bluestem on prairie birds using blackland prairies Effects of prairie restoration on winter prairie bird abundances and diversity Speyeria butterfly habitat use in Ouachita Mountains, AR.
Ecology and habitat use of the Louisiana Pine Snake Ecology and habitat use of the Alligator Snapping Turtle
importance of research
The Louisiana pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni) occupies a limited range in eastern Texas and west-central Louisiana. Recent surveys have documented the continued presence of P. ruthveni at a limited number of sites in Texas and Louisiana, failed to document current presence at numerous sites within the historic range, and documented landscape level alteration in habitat throughout the historic range. This species is listed as Threatened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is classified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a candidate species for listing as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Concerns about the conservation status of P. ruthveni have resulted in increasing attention to the ecology of this previously little known species. It has been hypothesized that habitat for this species is, or was, maintained by a fire regime characterized by frequent, low intensity ground fires, and that alteration of the pre-European fire regime resulted in landscape level declines in suitable habitat. Specifically, suppression of herbaceous vegetation, leading to declines in Baird’s pocket gopher (Geomys breviceps) populations, the primary prey of P. ruthveni, was hypothesized to result in decline and extirpation of P. ruthveni populations. Little is known about the ecology of the Louisiana Pine Snake. Better understanding of home range parameters should assist those involved in the conservation or management of Louisiana Pine Snakes as they develop management and recovery strategies and make decisions concerning the size of landscapes necessary to maintain viable populations.