Size and fidelity of annual home ranges for the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in west-central Illinois Jesper, Andrew

ajesper2@illinois.edu

Illinois Natural History Survey University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois USA Armesy, Ian Eckert, Scott Department of Biology and Natural Resources Principia College

Elsah, Illinois USA Quantifying the home range and space-use of animals is fundamental in understanding their life history and ecology and implementing effective conservation and management strategies. The threatened Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) has one the largest geographic ranges of any North American snake, persisting across much of the eastern U.S and occupying a diversity of habitat types. While numerous studies focus on the home range and movements of C. horridus, particularly in the northern/eastern portions of their range, little information exists for populations in the upper Midwest which occupy predominantly old-growth deciduous forests. Furthermore, there is a general lack of information describing the fidelity C. horridus has to its annual home ranges. To fill the knowledge gap, we report the size of, and fidelity to, annual home ranges for 31 C. horridus (13 female, 16 male) radio-tracked daily for one or more active seasons from 2015 to 2019 in west-central Illinois.