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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Common Snapping Turtle Monitoring and Assessment in Illinois

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AUTHORS: Katie Mainor; James T. Lamer, Western Illinois University; Mike McClelland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Emily Szott; Ashley Stanley

ABSTRACT: Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) inhabit waterways throughout Illinois and are harvested recreationally for sport and consumption. Seasons and bag limits are in place, but additional data are needed to identify management objectives for common snapping turtle harvest in Illinois. We are using mark and recapture (survival), size structure, sex ratio, and fecundity data to populate stage-based life tables needed to inform better management practices and harvest regulations for common snapping turtles in Illinois. We measured carapace and plastron dimensions, recorded sex and weight, and marked all trapped turtles (n=356) with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags from eight locations in Illinois from May 21st - August 7th, 2015 and from May 19th – September 9th, 2016. Demographic structure varied between populations, but combined data resulted in sex ratios of 57% male, 34% female, and 8% Juveniles. In a Chi-Square analysis three of the eight populations had sex ratios significantly different from 1:1. Data from 2015-2016 will be presented using stage-based life tables, mark-recapture population estimates, and population prediction models based on the demographic rates of each population. The models will be made to replicate long term impacts of harvest scenarios.          

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (3)