Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Jones, Jeanne

Committee Member

Jones, W. Daryl

Committee Member

Leopold, Bruce

Committee Member

Fogarty, Jarrod

Committee Member

Yager, Lisa

Date of Degree

1-1-2011

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Abstract

I studied four areas in south Mississippi from 2009-2010 to examine habitat conditions and faunal communities associated with presence of black pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi), a candidate for federal listing. Field studies included vegetation sampling, small vertebrates trapping, and fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) mound densities estimation. Areas that supported black pine snakes exhibited vegetation communities that differed from areas that did not support pine snakes. Presence of black pine snakes was influenced by ground cover vegetation and stump hole densities. Greatest densities of ant mounds were detected in areas that supported pine snakes and gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Species associates of black pine snakes included coachwhips (Coluber flagellum flagellum), scarlet snakes (Cemophora coccinea), six lined race runners (Aspidoscelis sexlineata sexlineata), and gopher tortoises. Findings of my study are being used to address creation of habitat corridors for black pine snakes and species associates within the Mississippi longleaf pine belt.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/17030

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