Growth rates and post-release survival of captive neonate timber rattlesnakes Crotalus horridus


The need for conservation and management of rare species is becoming increasingly important as wildlife species and their habitat continue to decline. Translocation of wild captured adults to augment and reintroduce populations has been successfully used for some endangered avian species (see Carrie et al. 1999; Rudolph et al. 1992). In general, success rates for mammals and birds are higher than those for amphibians and reptiles (Dodd and Seigel 1991; Griffith et al. 1989).

The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is listed as a State of Texas threatened species and translocation of captive raised snakes might benefit small populations. Controversy exists on the benefits versus problems associated with translocation of amphibians and reptiles (Burke 1991; Dodd and Seigel 1991; Reinert 1991). A recent evaluation of the impacts of translocation on behavior and survival of mature C. horridus suggests that translocation of adult snakes not be recommended as a standard management technique because of immediate aberrant movement behavior patterns and long-term elevated rates of overwinter mortality, predation, and disease (Reinert and Rupert 1999).

  • Citation: Conner, Richard N.; Rudolph, D. Craig; Saenz, Daniel; Schaefer, Richard R.; Burgdorf, Shirley J. 2003. Growth rates and post-release survival of captive neonate timber rattlesnakes Crotalus horridus. Herpetological Review 34(4): 314-317.
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: July 30, 2009
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.