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For David L. Martin......


[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Crotalidae Forum ]

Posted by Rich G. on July 27, 2002 at 00:59:16:


Sorry for the delay in responding, I don't get back to the computer as often as I would like anymore. To answer your questions, we did weigh snakes and that was recorded with the other info by the guy I was with but I didn't keep the info. I just remembered the great size of the snakes in general and the lengths of the two we measured.This was not a study site per se, it was just one that was shown to me in confidence by a fellow who used to live close to me. Kind of a strange situation. I'll not mention any names but this fellow was a herpetologist. He refused to buy meat at the store and instead harvested Gambel Quail and their eggs, rabbits and...two atrox per year. His motto was that if he could only take two, that they would be the biggest he could possibly get. He allowed me to tag along one Februrary day to his spot. I would say there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 adult snakes using the fissure for a hibernaculum. I have seen several atrox denning sites in southern Az., usually averaging 3-12 individuals, but this was the largest by far. All the adults at the site were very large by Az. standards with the smallest being in the 4 ft. range. There were some snakes beyond our reach that looked to be even bigger than the two we took and I was assured there were some bigger. I wouldn't be able to give you any kind of estimate of the size of the territory utilized by these particular snakes. One thing I have noticed about atrox in Az is that size is definately a genetic thing and not an age factor which has also been pointed out by Lowe. I know of three different locations here in Az. with atrox populations that are far exceeding the norm and they all have two things in common. One is that they are all towards the upper end of atrox elevational distribution at approx 4500-5000 ft. with very healthy cottontail populations...


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