HOME RANGES OF CAPTIVE-REARED, RECENTLY-RELEASED JUVENILE BLANDING’S TURTLES (EMYDOIDEA BLANDINGII)
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, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Armand Cann ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loyola University Chicago, email@example.com;
Sarah Crites ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loyola University Chicago, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Leigh Anne Harden ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Benedictine University, email@example.com;