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Lefebvre, J. (2009). Marrying conservation and exploitation: combining integrated resource management plans (irms) and the blanding’s turtle (emydoidea blandingii) to conserve and manage wetland ecosystems in nova scotia. Unpublished thesis , Acadia University. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (18 Nov 2012 17:43:40 UTC)
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
BibTeX citation key: Lefebvre2009
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Categories: General
Keywords: Emydidae, Emydoidea, Emydoidea blandingii, Habitat = habitat, Nordamerika = North America, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises
Creators: Lefebvre
Publisher: Acadia University
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Views index: 17%
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Emydoidea blandingii Chapter 4: Conclusions The number of Blanding’s turtles caught in Barren Meadow/Keddy Brook and the population estimate are larger than expected. The habitat, although suitable, has a low productivity, and does not contain the usual components for a large and viable population of Blanding’s turtles. That being said, the species is long-lived (over 70 years), and must show adaptation to a changing environment during its own life-span. What could be good habitat for two or three generations, might become unsuitable, from natural phenomenon such as vegetation succession or forest fire. With the impact of human expansion, the changes could come at a faster pace. Therefore it should not be surprising that Blanding’s turtles have managed to not only survive, but to thrive in Barren Meadow/Keddy Brook. This population shows other peculiarities, unique to Barren Meadow/Keddy Brook. The ratio of juvenile to adult is much greater than in other populations, despite the fact that nesting events are fewer. The composition of the habitat is less suitable for potential predators, allowing a higher proportion of young juveniles (younger than 5 years old) to reach size larger than the jaw gap of most of its predators. Males in Barren Meadow/Keddy Brook display behaviours never encountered before in this species, in all its geographic range. When homes ranges of males were mapped, they showed almost no overlapping, except during overwintering, which is done at communal sites, and mating, when more than one female was present. Observations of interaction between males also provided aggressive behaviour among them, usually larger older males chasing smaller younger ones away. Avoidance and aggression both suggest some kind of territoriality. There could be many different reasons to explain this behaviour: protection of food resources in a low productive area, segregation of females, or protection of premium habitat, such as basking sites. Investigation of all these factors would help resolve this previously unknown peculiar behaviour, which could affect the conservation plans for Blanding’s turtles. Territoriality could also explain the small effective population previously found in males in Nova Scotia (Beckett, 2006). I do believe that combining Blanding’s turtles and IRM plans can successfully help manage and protect wetland ecosystems in Nova Scotia. But to do so, certain conditions must be respected in the application of the IRM plan, and by the contractors and landowners exploiting resources in the habitat: 1. Life-history stages (overwintering, spring dispersal, nesting, and summering), and gender must be taken into consideration when implementing the IRM plan. Certain components of the environment, such as nesting or overwintering sites, can be limited, and their protection is primordial. 2. When collecting resources, contractors and landowners must take all the precautions necessary, assess properly the effects of collection, and minimize their impact on the habitat. Impacts can be immediate or short-term (impeding flow of brook), or long-term (draining of basking pools or drying of overwintering sites). 3. When dealing with private landowners, early and frequent contacts are recommended. The more the stakeholder feels involved in the process, and can relate to the species on his own patch of land, the more he will feel a sense of ownership and pride. It then facilitates the conservation of species at risk, and can lead to the recruitment of stewards. Stewardship is the key to long-term conservation, as shown by Caverhill (2006) in his thesis. Hopefully the tools developed in this thesis will be useful in protecting Blanding’s turtles, and other species sharing their geographic range, not only in the study site, but in all the wetland ecosystems in Nova Scotia where they are found. I feel also that the IRM plan can alleviate the fears of private stakeholders, who would be reluctant to reveal the presence of species at risk on their land. Once landowners see that resources can still be used and collected, albeit with some restriction, everybody will benefit from the environment, humans and turtles alike.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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