Special Issue "Advances in the Conservation and Ecology of Rattlesnakes"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Michael J. Dreslik
Website
Guest Editor
Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820 USA
Interests: ecology; conservation; demographics; behavior; physiology; life history; amphibians and reptiles
Dr. Sarah J. Baker

Guest Editor
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ 85086 USA
Interests: conservation biology; disease ecology; physiological ecology; amphibians and reptiles
Dr. Gordon W. Schuett

Guest Editor
Georgia State University, Department of Biology and Neuroscience Institute, Atlanta, GA 30303 USA
Chiricahua Desert Museum, Rodeo, NM 88056 USA
Interests: evolutionary and physiological ecology; mating systems; life history; phylogeography; vertebrates; amphibians and reptiles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Few would argue that rattlesnakes are among the most fascinating and intriguing animals, yet they remain highly misunderstood. Because they are venomous, for example, they often instill a sense of fear and irrational behavior. Fortunately, social change has occurred, and many species are afforded protection. Accordingly, the goal of our Special Issue is to advance our current understanding and knowledge of rattlesnake ecology and conservation through publishing both original works and comprehensive reviews.

Rattlesnakes are strict denizens of the New World, with their diversity in the United States highest in the arid regions of the Southwest. They are currently represented by two genera (Crotalus and Sistrurus) approximately 50 recognized species. Currently, many populations face immediate threats ranging from ongoing habitat loss, disease, and climate change to outright human persecution. Despite being lauded as a symbol of our revolution, we continue to cause rattlesnakes to suffer high mortality from hunting (“rattlesnake roundups”). In several states, roundups sadly remain popular annual events.

For this Special Issue, we welcome articles addressing the topics of spatial ecology, population biology, and conservation. Articles that interface ecology and conservation with genetics, genomics, disease, physiology, behavior, human dimensions, and/or public perception are highly desired.

We look forward to your participation.

Dr. Michael J. Dreslik
Dr. Sarah J. Baker
Dr. Gordon W. Schuett
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Rattlesnakes;
  • Ecology;
  • Conservation;
  • Populations;
  • Life history;
  • Management.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Factors Affecting the Detection of an Imperiled and Cryptic Species
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050177 - 01 May 2020
Abstract
Population surveying and monitoring are important for identifying conservation needs and tracking trends in populations, communities, and ecosystems over time and laying the groundwork for conservation management and policy decisions. If species or populations go undetected because of inadequate effort or sampling design, [...] Read more.
Population surveying and monitoring are important for identifying conservation needs and tracking trends in populations, communities, and ecosystems over time and laying the groundwork for conservation management and policy decisions. If species or populations go undetected because of inadequate effort or sampling design, protection and management cannot be properly provided. Due to the widespread loss of populations, the Eastern Massasauga (a rattlesnake) was recently listed as a federally threatened species in the United States; it is also listed as threatened in Canada. Given its current conservation status, there is considerable interest at state and federal levels in determining how to best survey for Eastern Massasaugas to aid in management decisions. Using a 16-year dataset, we examined the relationships among environmental, temporal, area, management, and search effort factors on the detection probability of Eastern Massasaugas. We found that four abiotic parameters (solar irradiance, shaded air temperature, three-day maximum air temperature, and humidity) and three search parameters (effort per researcher, search area, and search time of day) influenced detection of Eastern Massasaugas. As the current biodiversity crisis continues, the cost-effective use of resources and scientific expertise will continue to increase in importance. We hope our results stimulate similar analyses in other taxa, which will be critical for designing and implementing regional survey and monitoring programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Conservation and Ecology of Rattlesnakes)
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