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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Assessment of Painted Turtle Age and Size from Long-term Pond Study

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AUTHORS: Ellen Dolph, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Larkin Powell, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ABSTRACT: Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are a species found throughout the United States and are often studied because of their wide range and variability. There is not, however, a great deal of knowledge on growth patterns of painted turtles. We used data from a long-term, single pond study to create a model of painted turtle age based on size measurements of individual turtles captured and recaptured over more than ten years. The long-term nature of the study, with uniquely-marked individuals that are recaptured through time at a single pond, allows it to be used for finding growth relationships.  The painted turtle data was collected every summer at a single pond near Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala, NE. Turtles were captured using floating basking traps or hoop nets and were then measured.  We used growth models based on fisheries studies of recaptured individuals to predict future size based on current size. Age-growth curves were then used to predict size of turtles across ages.  We provide evidence that growth is gender-specific and is affected by drought patterns. Such insight is especially important as climates continue to change.

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

Attendees (3)