Snake mortality associated with late season radio-transmitter implantation
Radio-telemetry is an increasingly used procedure to obtain data on the biology of free-living snakes (Reinert 1992, 1994). In Texas and Louisiana we have been using the surgical technique of Weatherhead and Anderka (1984) to implant transmitters in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus ruthveni) to obtain information on biology and habitat preferences. In New Jersey transmitters were surgically implanted following the procedure described by Reinert and Cunda11(1982), with recent improvements and modifications (Reinert 1992), to investigate the biology and habitat preference of timber rattlesnakes (Reinert and Zappalorti 1988a, 1988b) and northern pine snakes (P.m. melanoleucus)(Burger and Zappalorti 1988, 1989, 1991). During the course of this research we have implanted SI-2T transmitters (Holohil Systems Ltd.) in 30 C. horridus and 28 P.m. ruthveni; and SM-1 transmitters (AVM Instrument Co.) and LF-1 transmitters (L. L. Electronics, Inc.) in 37 P. m. melanoleucus, 28 C. horridus, and several in other snake species.