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Muldoon, K. A. (2010). Post-emergence movement and overwintering strategies of diamondback terrapin (malaclemys terrapin) hatchlings. Unpublished thesis , Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. USA. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (30 Jun 2012 22:01:38 UTC)
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
BibTeX citation key: Muldoon2010
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Categories: General
Keywords: Emydidae, Habitat = habitat, Malaclemys, Malaclemys terrapin, Nordamerika = North America, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Zeitigung = incubation
Creators: Muldoon
Publisher: Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York. USA.)
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Abstract     
As with most turtle species, the life histories of hatchling diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are poorly known. Most hatchling literature focuses on emergence, whereas post-emergent movement and survivorship are largely unknown. Only a few short term studies and anecdotal notes exist regarding terrapin hatchling movements, salinity tolerance, microhabitat use or overwintering locations. Hatchlings turtles may overwinter in the nest, or in water, or on land outside the nest. Anecdotal evidence indicates terrapins overwintering in each of these locations; however no general overwintering pattern has been documented. I installed drift fences and pitfall traps in six locations at Ruler’s Bar, Jamaica Bay, New York, in fall 2006-spring 2008. I investigated terrapin hatchling movements for as long as nine months after emergence, identified environmental factors associated with hatchling movements and documented predation. I captured 324 live hatchlings, 95 of these were recaptured at least once, and I found 42 dead hatchlings. More than 80% of dead hatchlings were found on nights with less than 50% lunar illumination. Over 50% of fall hatchlings were moving away from the water, at least 18 hatchlings overwintered terrestrially outside of the nest, and 62% decreased in length while overwintering. The length of time between fall capture and spring recapture ranged from 183 - 276 days. Over 50% of spring hatchlings moved towards water. I found a significant relationship between the number of hatchlings captured and high air temperatures and a significant relationship between hatchling movement and precipitation. Hatchling terrapins move further away from the water after fall emergence and back towards the water in the spring. Future work should include management plans that identify and protect terrestrial overwintering habitat.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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