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Habitat selection at multiple spatial scales in Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica)

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Understanding habitat use of declining species is essential for their management and successful recovery. We examined habitat selection at multiple spatial scales by Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica (Le Sueur, 1817)), a species at risk, in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Ontario, Canada. At the scale of the home range, Map Turtles generally avoided deep water (>2 m) and selected home ranges in waters <1 m deep. Importantly, turtles used home ranges with significantly more natural than developed shoreline. At the scale of the location, adult females used deep water more often and males preferred areas with surface cover. Management efforts should implement regulations concerning further shoreline development.

La gestion et la récupération réussie des espèces en déclin nécessitent une compréhension de leur utilisation de l’habitat. Nous examinons la sélection de l’habitat à plusieurs échelles spatiales chez la tortue géographique (Graptemys geographica (Le Sueur, 1817)), une espèce vulnérable, dans le parc national des Îles-du-Saint-Laurent, Ontario, Canada. À l’échelle du domaine vital, les tortues géographiques évitent généralement les eaux profondes (>2 m) et choisissent des domaines vitaux dans des eaux de <1 m de profondeur. Ce qui est plus important, les tortues utilisent des domaines vitaux qui possèdent significativement plus de ligne de rivage naturelle que modifiée. À l’échelle du site, les femelles adultes utilisent les eaux profondes plus fréquemment et les mâles préfèrent les zones qui possèdent un couvert en surface. Les efforts de gestion devraient inclure la mise en vigueur de règlements concernant les modifications futures des rivages.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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