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Short-term movements of the South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus) in southeastern Brazil

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Ecological studies of movements in animals require extensive knowledge of direction, distance and frequency of movements. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily and seasonal movements in a population of the South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus. The study population inhabits a cerrado area in southeastern Brazil. Snakes were tracked with externally attached radio-transmitters and thread bobbins. Larger animals tended to make more extensive daily movements, moving further from the initial site of capture. There were no differences in average daily movements between sexes. Site fidelity was higher in the dry season for both sexes. Both sexes moved distances twice as long as those calculated by drawing a straight line between consecutive points. The movement pattern of C. durissus seemed to be similar to that observed in other tropical pit vipers, such as species of the genus Bothrops.
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Keywords: DAILY MOVEMENT; RADIO TELEMETRY; SEASONAL MOVEMENT; SPOOL-AND-LINE TRACKING DEVICE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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