Spatial ecology and core-area protection of Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

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Abstract:

We documented sizes of terrestrial protection zones around wetlands that are necessary to protect all of the core area of Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii (Holbrook, 1838)) on the Edwin S. George Reserve (ESGR) in southeastern Michigan. Data collected over three decades indicated that 39% of the 83 females and 50% of the 60 males maintained the same residence wetland for more than 20 years, and 33% of the 182 nonresident females used nesting areas on the ESGR for more than 20 years. Approximately 20% of resident males and females were captured in 21 temporary wetlands on the ESGR. Nesting areas were located from 100 to 2000 m from residence wetlands, and some of 45 females (18%) used up to six different nesting areas, some separated by >1000 m. Terrestrial protection zones 300 and 450 m around all wetlands (residence and temporary) protect 90% and 100% of nests, respectively. Terrestrial protection zones of 300, 1000, and 2000 m around residence wetlands only are required to protect 14%, 87%, and 100% of adults, respectively. A protection zone that encompasses the activities of most or all Blanding’s Turtles has a high probability of including the core areas of most other semiaquatic organisms.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z11-091

Affiliations: Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA.

Publication date: November 4, 2011

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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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