Title

Home Range and Habitat Use of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the Northern Georgia Piedmont

Proposal Type

Poster

Keywords

Terrapene carolina, radiotelemetry, home range, habitat use, Ligustrum sinense

Subject Area

Biology

Start Date

11-11-2016 11:45 AM

End Date

11-11-2016 1:15 PM

Description/Abstract

The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a long-lived, terrestrial species found throughout the Eastern United States. Despite classification as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, data regarding habitat use and home range is limited, especially in the Piedmont region of the southeastern U.S. Since May 2012, we have conducted a radiotelemetry and capture-mark-recapture investigation of the species in the northeastern Piedmont region of Georgia. We captured turtles (n = 20) for inclusion in the study by hand in mixed hardwood-pine uplands and mesic areas dominated by Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) between spring 2012 and fall 2016. We radiotrack individuals on foot 1-2 times per week and collected environmental variables at each location. To calculate individual home ranges, we used 100% minimum complex polygons to estimate area used. To date, we have collected between 5-134 radiolocations per individual. Home range estimates varied from 0.16 to 6.10 ha. Turtles primarily used exotic habitats dominated by Chinese Privet (51%), with use of hardwood-pine uplands dominated by native vegetation (36%), human maintained clear cut habitat (9%), and beaver-created wetland habitats (4%). Assessment of home ranges and habitat use will continue through 2076 as we maintain tracking and capture-mark-recapture efforts.

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Nov 11th, 11:45 AM Nov 11th, 1:15 PM

Home Range and Habitat Use of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the Northern Georgia Piedmont

The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a long-lived, terrestrial species found throughout the Eastern United States. Despite classification as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, data regarding habitat use and home range is limited, especially in the Piedmont region of the southeastern U.S. Since May 2012, we have conducted a radiotelemetry and capture-mark-recapture investigation of the species in the northeastern Piedmont region of Georgia. We captured turtles (n = 20) for inclusion in the study by hand in mixed hardwood-pine uplands and mesic areas dominated by Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) between spring 2012 and fall 2016. We radiotrack individuals on foot 1-2 times per week and collected environmental variables at each location. To calculate individual home ranges, we used 100% minimum complex polygons to estimate area used. To date, we have collected between 5-134 radiolocations per individual. Home range estimates varied from 0.16 to 6.10 ha. Turtles primarily used exotic habitats dominated by Chinese Privet (51%), with use of hardwood-pine uplands dominated by native vegetation (36%), human maintained clear cut habitat (9%), and beaver-created wetland habitats (4%). Assessment of home ranges and habitat use will continue through 2076 as we maintain tracking and capture-mark-recapture efforts.