New DNA analyses of rattlesnakes in New York State finds that even minor roadways deter snakes from crossing the road to breed. Populations are becoming isolated from each other by roadways, which may threaten their future.
“We worry for the health of these populations because connectivity is so key to responding to environmental pressures and avoiding inbreeding,” said Rulon Clark of San Diego State University, who led the study published in Conservation Biology. The reduced genetic diversity that results from inbreeding makes populations less resistant to diseases or other disturbances.
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