Presentation Title

The Role of Local Temperatures in the Timing of Egress and ingress of Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus)

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Climate change is projected to have various effects on plant and animal life. Considerable research has been done on how mammals may respond to climate change, yet ectotherms may be significantly affected as their body temperature is largely environmentally dependent. In particular, denning ectotherms near their northernmost limits may face challenges adjusting to new seasonal temperature patterns that will influence ingress (entering hibernation) and egress (exiting hibernation). We investigated ground, air, and den mouth temperatures using temperature-recording dataloggers at 7 western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) communal dens located throughout the Thompson-Okanagan, during the 2019 ingress and egress periods. As expected, correlation matrices showed that maximum, minimum, and average temperatures for individual den temperature profiles were highly correlated. Regression analysis has determined that maximum and minimum ground temperature variation between dens is not often a function of time, and temperatures between dens are usually significantly different. Ultimately, these results will be compared to the actual ingress and egress patterns of the snakes that is simultaneously being documented by cameras.

Department

Natural Resource Science

Faculty Advisor

Karl Larsen

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The Role of Local Temperatures in the Timing of Egress and ingress of Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus)

Climate change is projected to have various effects on plant and animal life. Considerable research has been done on how mammals may respond to climate change, yet ectotherms may be significantly affected as their body temperature is largely environmentally dependent. In particular, denning ectotherms near their northernmost limits may face challenges adjusting to new seasonal temperature patterns that will influence ingress (entering hibernation) and egress (exiting hibernation). We investigated ground, air, and den mouth temperatures using temperature-recording dataloggers at 7 western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) communal dens located throughout the Thompson-Okanagan, during the 2019 ingress and egress periods. As expected, correlation matrices showed that maximum, minimum, and average temperatures for individual den temperature profiles were highly correlated. Regression analysis has determined that maximum and minimum ground temperature variation between dens is not often a function of time, and temperatures between dens are usually significantly different. Ultimately, these results will be compared to the actual ingress and egress patterns of the snakes that is simultaneously being documented by cameras.