Jefferson County Open Space
As you can see from this map, and comparing it to previous ones, some of our rattlesnakes with transmitters move around quite a bit while others stay mostly in the same area. There are likely several reasons for this:
- Pregnant (yes, pregnant, because rattlesnakes do not lay eggs and give live birth) females tend to find areas where they can maximize staying warm to help their babies develop.
- Resources like food and water change with the season, and so individuals may need to move to survive hot and dry summer days.
- Interactions between individuals, such as a territorial dispute, may lead to conflicts where one snake is pushed out of a "better" area by a more dominant individual.
Reasons like these are better understood in other animals that have been studied for a long time, however we are just starting to understand such behaviors in rattlesnakes and other small animals.
We are excited to share that we now have all 20 transmitters deployed to the field! As many of you know, rattlesnakes are found throughout the property and in all of its habitats. We are always happy to visit with you at North Table Mountain to hear your rattlesnake encounter story and to answer your questions. We want you to be safe!!! Rattlesnakes are performing their role in this ecosystem, and seem to be doing fine at this site (i.e. a healthy population and numbers). It is important to us that you and your pets visit this area (or any Jefferson County Open Space) informed so you can enjoy your activities fully.