Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Lisa C. Hazard

Committee Member

Kirsten J. Monsen

Committee Member

Danlin Yu

Committee Member

Robert P. Cook


The eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is an understudied species of increasing conservation concern, especially in the northeastern portion of its range. Conservation and management efforts often rely on ecological information to guide best practices when dealing with vulnerable and/or cryptic species. A radiotelemetry study was initiated at Cape Cod National Seashore, Barnstable County, Massachusetts on H. platirhinos in an effort to increase the understanding of spatial ecology, habitat selection, and associated natural history attributes. Sixteen adult H. platirhinos were tracked over two years yielding a total of 413 relocations. We observed a large variation in home range size among individuals (MCP mean = 31 ha, MCP range = 1-209 ha) and seasonal differences in movements between sexes with female movements peaking in July, and male movements peaking in September. Estimates of daily movements averaged 25.9 m/d and were less than estimates derived from other studies of H. platirhinos. Also contrary to other studies, females showed a high rate of reproduction with oviposition taking place in late-June to early-July. Probability of occurrence increased with certain physical and vegetative characteristics (grass, leaf litter) and decreased with others (open soil, cranberry). We documented the first instance of hibernaculum site fidelity in this species.

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