Home range and habitat selection in the eastern box turtle (Terrepene carolina carolina) in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) reserve

Greenspan, Sasha E., Condon, Erin P., and Smith, Lora L. (2015) Home range and habitat selection in the eastern box turtle (Terrepene carolina carolina) in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) reserve. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 10 (1). pp. 99-111.

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Abstract

The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a species of conservation concern throughout North America, with recent population declines attributed primarily to habitat loss. The habitat requirements of this species in the southeastern United States have not been fully described. Our objectives were to estimate home range size and to describe habitat selection of Eastern Box Turtles (subspecies T. c. carolina) in a landscape dominated by Longleaf Pine (Pin us palustris) forest, the once dominant ecosystem in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. We conducted a radio-telemetry study of adult Eastern Box Turtles in a managed Longleaf Pine reserve in southwestern Georgia, USA. Home ranges expressed as 95% minimum convex polygons were 0.33-54.37 ha in size and averaged 10.33 +/- 3.33 ha (SE). Turtles exhibited landscape-scale selection of pine-hardwood forests and hardwood forests. At a local scale, turtles used forbs more than bare ground, litter, and grass. Our study provides much-needed baseline information about home range size and habitat use of Eastern Box Turtles in the endangered Longleaf Pine ecosystem. Additional studies, particularly regarding use of disturbed habitats that are more characteristic of the modern southeastern landscape, would further clarify the status of Eastern Box Turtles in this region.

Item ID: 41795
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1931-7603
Keywords: Georgia; kernel density estimate; minimum convex polygon; radio-telemetry
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Funders: University of Florida, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Centre
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 14:11
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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