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Diurnal refuge-site selection by Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam

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Diurnal refuge-site selection was studied in eleven free-ranging brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) in tropical forest on the island of Guam. These nocturnal and mostly arboreal snakes were tracked using implanted radio-transmitters. A vegetation survey of the study site was performed to determine if brown treesnakes non-randomly select certain plants for refuge-sites, and thermal profiles of representative refuge sites were obtained with Hobo data loggers. Brown treesnakes preferentially used Pandanus crowns for refuge-sites. Although Pandanus represents a small proportion (3.6%) of the forest, most snakes used Pandanus most of the time for refuge. The thermal characteristics of Pandanus were comparable to those of other refuge-sites. We speculate that features of Pandanus that provide basking opportunities and moist microhabitats may be important for brown treesnakes. As Pandanus is widely distributed throughout the natural range of the brown treesnake, this genus may represent an important refuge-site for this species.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA;, Email: hetherington.1@osu.edu; 2: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA, Department of Natural Sciences, Castleton State College, Castleton, Vermont 05735, USA; 3: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA, Department of Natural Resource Management, Texas Tech University, Box 42125, Lubbock, Texas 79409-2125, USA; 4: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, California 94533, USA; 5: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853808784124956
2008-05-01
2017-06-27

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