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Akre, T. S., Dragon, J., Ruther, E., Lassiter, E., & Kleopfer, J. D. , Subsidies and traps: Nest site selection and success in an unusual landscape for the wood turtle (glyptemys insculpta) - abstract. Unpublished paper presented at Program and Abstracts of the Tenth Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. 
Added by: Admin (06 Jan 2014 18:22:34 UTC)
Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: Akre2012a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Emydidae, Fortpflanzung - reproduction, Glyptemys insculpta, Habitat - habitat, Nordamerika - North America, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises
Creators: Akre, Dragon, Kleopfer, Lassiter, Ruther
Collection: Program and Abstracts of the Tenth Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles
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Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) populations have been severely impacted by human encroachment across the range, and at the southern margin in Virginia, the species is considered a priority for conservation action due to natural rarity and a rapidly shrinking distribution. Because of these factors, many of the remaining populations in northern Virginia occur at relatively high elevation sites on the George Washington National Forest (GWNF). Although populations on these sites may benefit from some degree of landscape protection, they are often relatively small and low density, possibly because the sites are deficient in natural nesting habitats. Anecdotal observation at one site suggested that females nested primarily in road-cut banks, which may function as ecological traps, thereby explaining the apparently low recruitment. We sought to determine the factors that influence nest site selection and nest success at that site in order to test the ecological trap hypothesis and inform management activities on the GWNF, and elsewhere. In May-July 2010 and 2011, we monitored ≥ 100 gravid female Wood Turtles by a combination of techniques, and located 65 nests. A subset (55) was excavated and then reburied and protected to record clutch-egg viability as well as a suite of variables known to influence nesting habitat use and nest success, and to monitor hatching success. The majority of nests were located in road-cut banks and nest success averaged ~83% in both years. These findings and additional results related to nest site selection and nest success will be presented and discussed along with results from 2012.
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