School of Behavioral Sciences; School of Health Sciences
Zoo and Wildlife Biology
queen snake, ecology, long term, urban
Beiler, Rachel, "Long-Term Study on the Population Ecology of Urban Queen Snakes (Regina septemvittata) in Central Virginia" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 916.
As parts of the world are becoming more urbanized, species living in urban habitat fragments are more at risk of extirpation. We conducted, in an urban environment, a 12-year (2008-2019) mark/recapture study on a Queen snake (Regina septemvittata) population in Rock Castle Creek, Lynchburg, VA to determine population viability. Ninety-nine individual Queen snakes were marked to determine stable population estimates (range 3 - 43 snakes) and an annual survival rate of 52%. Our research found that despite the challenges of urban living, this population is stable and similar to rural Queen snake population studies. Certain life-history traits are advantageous to urban Queen snakes' survivability, but other traits make them extremely vulnerable should habitat quality change in the future.