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Shifts in the Relative Abundance of Snakes in a Desert Grassland

Joseph R. Mendelson III and W. Bryan Jennings
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 1992), pp. 38-45
DOI: 10.2307/1565019
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565019
Page Count: 8
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Shifts in the Relative Abundance of Snakes in a Desert Grassland
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Abstract

Distribution, diversity and relative abundance of snake species on roads through desert grasslands in Arizona and New Mexico were compared to data in a previously published survey conducted about 30 years ago. We found a significant shift in the relative abundance of snake species: Thamnophis marcianus and Crotalus atrox have increased in relative abundance and C. scutulatus has decreased. These changes are correlated with succession of local Semidesert Grasslands to Chihuahuan Desertscrub. Analysis of distributions of Crotalus revealed that C. atrox was more common than C. scutulatus in scrub habitat while C. scutulatus was more common in the remaining grasslands.

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