Highway mortality of snakes in the sonoran desert of southern Arizona

Philip C Rosen, Charles H. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present an algebraic method for estimating highway mortality in snakes, based on careful data collection during low-speed driving on paved roads. A total of 368 snakes (104 live, 264 dead) were recorded over four years on State Route 85 from Why to Lukeville, Pima Co., Arizona, during 15 525 km of road-cruising; mostly within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We computed an estimate of 2383 snakes killed 13·5/km/year) during the four years on this stretch of pavement, estimate that actual numbers killed would be closer to 4000 (22·5/km/year). Two taxa of special conservation interest, the Mexican rosy boa Lichanura trivirgata and the Organ Pipe shovelnosed snake Chionactis palarostris, appear to be relatively strongly impacted by highway mortality. Overall, along our 44·1 km transect, the estimated highway mortality amounts to removal of 5 km2 of snake population over the four years of study. It is clear that roadways, especially if paved, substantially damage snake populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

Fingerprint

Sonoran Desert
snake
snakes
desert
road
mortality
roads
Stenocereus thurberi
pipe
cactus
monument
pipes
pavement
transect
damage

Keywords

  • conservation
  • estimation
  • highway mortality
  • snakes
  • Sonoran Desert

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Highway mortality of snakes in the sonoran desert of southern Arizona. / Rosen, Philip C; Lowe, Charles H.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 68, No. 2, 1994, p. 143-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{93838f63d9bf44f5868c8535c83c18e4,
title = "Highway mortality of snakes in the sonoran desert of southern Arizona",
abstract = "We present an algebraic method for estimating highway mortality in snakes, based on careful data collection during low-speed driving on paved roads. A total of 368 snakes (104 live, 264 dead) were recorded over four years on State Route 85 from Why to Lukeville, Pima Co., Arizona, during 15 525 km of road-cruising; mostly within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We computed an estimate of 2383 snakes killed 13·5/km/year) during the four years on this stretch of pavement, estimate that actual numbers killed would be closer to 4000 (22·5/km/year). Two taxa of special conservation interest, the Mexican rosy boa Lichanura trivirgata and the Organ Pipe shovelnosed snake Chionactis palarostris, appear to be relatively strongly impacted by highway mortality. Overall, along our 44·1 km transect, the estimated highway mortality amounts to removal of 5 km2 of snake population over the four years of study. It is clear that roadways, especially if paved, substantially damage snake populations.",
keywords = "conservation, estimation, highway mortality, snakes, Sonoran Desert",
author = "Rosen, {Philip C} and Lowe, {Charles H.}",
year = "1994",
doi = "10.1016/0006-3207(94)90345-X",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "68",
pages = "143--148",
journal = "Biological Conservation",
issn = "0006-3207",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Highway mortality of snakes in the sonoran desert of southern Arizona

AU - Rosen, Philip C

AU - Lowe, Charles H.

PY - 1994

Y1 - 1994

N2 - We present an algebraic method for estimating highway mortality in snakes, based on careful data collection during low-speed driving on paved roads. A total of 368 snakes (104 live, 264 dead) were recorded over four years on State Route 85 from Why to Lukeville, Pima Co., Arizona, during 15 525 km of road-cruising; mostly within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We computed an estimate of 2383 snakes killed 13·5/km/year) during the four years on this stretch of pavement, estimate that actual numbers killed would be closer to 4000 (22·5/km/year). Two taxa of special conservation interest, the Mexican rosy boa Lichanura trivirgata and the Organ Pipe shovelnosed snake Chionactis palarostris, appear to be relatively strongly impacted by highway mortality. Overall, along our 44·1 km transect, the estimated highway mortality amounts to removal of 5 km2 of snake population over the four years of study. It is clear that roadways, especially if paved, substantially damage snake populations.

AB - We present an algebraic method for estimating highway mortality in snakes, based on careful data collection during low-speed driving on paved roads. A total of 368 snakes (104 live, 264 dead) were recorded over four years on State Route 85 from Why to Lukeville, Pima Co., Arizona, during 15 525 km of road-cruising; mostly within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We computed an estimate of 2383 snakes killed 13·5/km/year) during the four years on this stretch of pavement, estimate that actual numbers killed would be closer to 4000 (22·5/km/year). Two taxa of special conservation interest, the Mexican rosy boa Lichanura trivirgata and the Organ Pipe shovelnosed snake Chionactis palarostris, appear to be relatively strongly impacted by highway mortality. Overall, along our 44·1 km transect, the estimated highway mortality amounts to removal of 5 km2 of snake population over the four years of study. It is clear that roadways, especially if paved, substantially damage snake populations.

KW - conservation

KW - estimation

KW - highway mortality

KW - snakes

KW - Sonoran Desert

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028175049&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028175049&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0006-3207(94)90345-X

DO - 10.1016/0006-3207(94)90345-X

M3 - Article

VL - 68

SP - 143

EP - 148

JO - Biological Conservation

JF - Biological Conservation

SN - 0006-3207

IS - 2

ER -