Title

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

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. N.L. Hyslop and Dr. J.L. Mook

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Robinson Ballroom B

Start Date

1-4-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2015 1:30 PM

Description/Abstract

The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a terrestrial species found throughout the Eastern United States and although the species is considered vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, data regarding habitat use and home range is limited, especially in the northern Piedmont region of Georgia. Turtles were hand captured at Tumbling Creek on the Gainesville campus of The University of North Georgia and located on foot using radiotelemetry 1-2 times per week. Microhabitat data collected at radiolocations included vegetation cover, environmental temperatures, and forest stand basal area. We used 100% minimum complex polygons to estimate individual home range area used during foraging, mating, resting, traveling, and overwintering. To date, we have collected 16-90 radiolocations per individual. Home ranges varied from 0.60 to 4.40 ha. Turtles primarily used upland habitats dominated by native vegetation (50%), with use of uplands dominated by Chinese Privet (Lingustrum sinense) (40%), and wetland habitats (20%). Assessment of home ranges and habitat use will continue through 2015 as we maintain tracking efforts and include additional sites in our study.

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Apr 1st, 12:00 PM Apr 1st, 1:30 PM

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

Robinson Ballroom B

The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a terrestrial species found throughout the Eastern United States and although the species is considered vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, data regarding habitat use and home range is limited, especially in the northern Piedmont region of Georgia. Turtles were hand captured at Tumbling Creek on the Gainesville campus of The University of North Georgia and located on foot using radiotelemetry 1-2 times per week. Microhabitat data collected at radiolocations included vegetation cover, environmental temperatures, and forest stand basal area. We used 100% minimum complex polygons to estimate individual home range area used during foraging, mating, resting, traveling, and overwintering. To date, we have collected 16-90 radiolocations per individual. Home ranges varied from 0.60 to 4.40 ha. Turtles primarily used upland habitats dominated by native vegetation (50%), with use of uplands dominated by Chinese Privet (Lingustrum sinense) (40%), and wetland habitats (20%). Assessment of home ranges and habitat use will continue through 2015 as we maintain tracking efforts and include additional sites in our study.