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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Movement Patterns of Eastern Box Turtles in an Urban Ohio Landscape

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AUTHORS: Sydney A. Hartbarger, Wittenberg University
Megan R. Rude, Wittenberg University
Richard S. Phillips, Wittenberg University

ABSTRACT: Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) populations are of increasing management concern and may exist in fragmented urban environments.  Mowing, prescribed fire, collection, and car strikes all pose threats to small populations in urban parks.  To better understand movement and threats to urban turtle populations, 12 box turtles (3 males, 9 females) were monitored over two years using radio-telemetry in two urban parks in Clark County, Ohio.  Turtles were located weekly using the homing technique and at each location microhabitat variables (temperature, RH) were recorded.  Average distances moved between successive locations averaged 119 meters for all turtles with individual averages ranging from 11 m – 250 m.  There were no differences in movement rates between males and females.  Turtles were observed making migratory-like movement from hibernacula to summer ranges and there is loose evidence of fidelity to overwintering sites.  Turtles were located most often in hardwood forest (51%), with fields (25%) and prairies (12%) also commonly utilized.  The majority of turtles used a variety of habitat types given the fragmented nature of the parks.  No mortalities were documented during the study period, but three turtles were thought to be collected from the population.   These data provide a baseline to begin evaluating management regimes and their impact on turtle movements and survival.

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

Attendees (3)