Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Jayme Waldron, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Shane Welch

Third Advisor

Dr. Anne Axel


Translocations have the potential to aim conservation efforts as well as to reduce mortality caused by human activities. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus, EDB) have a limited ability to adapt to habitat loss and fragmentation due to the species’ slow life history and minimal dispersal ability. Because they are a venomous species, they are viewed as nuisance animals and are often killed on sight. We translocated a cohort of EDBs to investigate the potential of using translocations as a conservation and mitigation tool for this species. In July 2018, we translocated twelve adult eastern diamondback rattlesnakes from Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot to an inland wildlife management area. We radio-located the rattlesnakes approximately three times weekly during the active season and once per week during the inactive season both pre-and post-translocation. We used these radio telemetry data to examine the effects translocation had on home-range size and average daily movement. We also used know-rate models to examine adult survival post-translocation. The post-translocation home ranges were larger than the pre-translocation home ranges and the snakes moved more on average per day post-translocation. We failed to detect an effect of translocation on two-year survival probability. We suspect that large post-translocation home ranges and average daily movements reflect the need to find suitable ambush and hibernacula sites, as well as the difference in coastal and inland woodland habitats. In order for translocations to be a viable conservation strategy for EDBs, more research is needed to determine the long-term viability of translocated populations.


Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Habitat (Ecology)