Title

Preliminary Results of Home Range and Movements of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the North Georgia Piedmont

Presenter Information

Amber RittgersFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Natalie Hyslop and Dr. Jennifer Mook

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Oral Presentation

Subject Area

Biology

Location

MPR 3

Start Date

22-3-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

22-3-2019 10:00 AM

Description/Abstract

Preliminary Results of Home Range and Movement of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the North Georgia Piedmont

A. Rittgers, K. Bonadie; Advisors: N.L. Hyslop, J.L. Mook

Department of Biology, University of North Georgia

Terrapene carolina (Eastern Box Turtle) is a terrestrial species from New Hampshire to Georgia in the Eastern United States. The species is experiencing range-wide population decline and is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Despite the species’ status, little long-term research has been conducted regarding home range and habitat use in the Southeastern US. To contribute to the knowledge of the species in this region, we have conducted a radiotelemetry study since 2013 to investigate factors that influence T. carolina movement, survival, and habitat use in the Northeastern Piedmont region of Georgia. The study site is composed of mixed hardwood-pine uplands, primarily comprised of oaks and maples; mesic and upland areas dominated by Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense); beaver-created wetlands; and maintained utility line areas. Our research includes 32 radio-transmitted turtles that are tracked on foot by homing 1-2 times per month. From March 2013 to October 2018 we collected an average of 57 radiolocations (range: 1 to 179) per turtle. Cumulative home ranges (100% minimum convex polygon) for turtles tracked, with a minimum of 30 radiolocations, averaged 1.31 ha (range 0.04-6.94) ha (n=19). Additional results include shifts in annual home range, seasonal movement patterns, and overwintering site fidelity of T. carolina.

Media Format

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Mar 22nd, 9:00 AM Mar 22nd, 10:00 AM

Preliminary Results of Home Range and Movements of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the North Georgia Piedmont

MPR 3

Preliminary Results of Home Range and Movement of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) in the North Georgia Piedmont

A. Rittgers, K. Bonadie; Advisors: N.L. Hyslop, J.L. Mook

Department of Biology, University of North Georgia

Terrapene carolina (Eastern Box Turtle) is a terrestrial species from New Hampshire to Georgia in the Eastern United States. The species is experiencing range-wide population decline and is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Despite the species’ status, little long-term research has been conducted regarding home range and habitat use in the Southeastern US. To contribute to the knowledge of the species in this region, we have conducted a radiotelemetry study since 2013 to investigate factors that influence T. carolina movement, survival, and habitat use in the Northeastern Piedmont region of Georgia. The study site is composed of mixed hardwood-pine uplands, primarily comprised of oaks and maples; mesic and upland areas dominated by Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense); beaver-created wetlands; and maintained utility line areas. Our research includes 32 radio-transmitted turtles that are tracked on foot by homing 1-2 times per month. From March 2013 to October 2018 we collected an average of 57 radiolocations (range: 1 to 179) per turtle. Cumulative home ranges (100% minimum convex polygon) for turtles tracked, with a minimum of 30 radiolocations, averaged 1.31 ha (range 0.04-6.94) ha (n=19). Additional results include shifts in annual home range, seasonal movement patterns, and overwintering site fidelity of T. carolina.