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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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Substantial threats to reptile species biodiversity have become apparent in the last few decades. This has been partly caused by significant losses in grasslands and their associate wetland-prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern United States. One species in particular, Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii), occur in Midwestern prairie-wetlands and is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of species. Consequently, many wildlife managers have invested in the conservation of this species, primarily using captive-breeding programs where turtles are reared and released into natural wetlands. We used ground-based radio telemetry to radio-track 12 recently-released individuals. We calculated bi-monthly home ranges between May to November 2016 using Minimum Convex Polygons and Kernel Density Estimates at 50% and 95% CI. We found a significant difference between bi-monthly ranges across seasons, with home ranges increasing in size during summer months and decreasing during fall. Our data suggests these recently-released juveniles have a similar ecology to wild-hatched individuals across the Blanding’s turtles range. These data will provide wildlife managers with valuable insight to more effectively conserve the species and wetland ecosystems.

ANDRÉS MUÑOZ (Primary Presenter/Author), Loyola University Chicago,;

Armand Cann ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loyola University Chicago,;

Sarah Crites ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loyola University Chicago,;

Leigh Anne Harden ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Benedictine University,;