Document Type

Publication - Article

Human-Wildlife Conflict at a Suburban–Wildlands Interface: Effects of Short- and Long-Distance Translocations on Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) Activity and Survival



Date of Activity



The mitigation of human-rattlesnake conflicts often involves euthanizing or translocating the offending rattlesnake. Although translocation is generally considered more humane, especially by the general public, it may negatively impact the translocated individual and may not be effective if that individual returns to areas where the probability of human conflict is high. We used radiotelemetry to experimentally study the effects of short- (SDT) and long-distance translocation (LDT; beyond the typical home range or activity range) on adult Red Diamond Rattlesnakes (Crotalus ruber) near a residential development in Southern California. Though the results were mixed, some analyses suggested that higher numbers of SDTs were associated with larger activity areas and increased movement. For snakes undergoing LDT, the activity areas and mean daily movement distances were 1.8–4.6 times larger than those of non-LDT snakes in the year of translocation, but were similar in the following year. Cox regression models revealed that, for both LDT and non-LDT snakes, every 1 m increase in the distance moved resulted in a 1.2% decreased risk of moving back into a human-modified area and a 1.6% decreased risk of returning to the original site of conflict. We failed to detect an effect of either LDT or SDT on body mass change or survival. Our findings suggest that LDT of nuisance snakes may be a viable option for at least some rattlesnake populations or species, especially those in which individuals do not require communal overwintering sites.