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Weaver, N. S., & Baldwin, R. , Likelihood of turtle mortality during attempted road crossing (poster). Unpublished paper presented at 2013 Box Turtle Conservation Workshop. 
Added by: Admin (06 Jan 2014 18:25:30 UTC)
Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: Weaver2013
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Categories: General
Keywords: Habitat - habitat, Nordamerika - North America, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises, völkerkundliche Artikel - Ethnology
Creators: Baldwin, Weaver
Collection: 2013 Box Turtle Conservation Workshop
Views: 3/269
Views index: 17%
Popularity index: 4.25%
Box turtles and other species of turtle crossing the road are a common sight in the southeastern United States, especially during breeding season (May-June) (Cureton and Deaton 2012). This puts the animals in direct danger from motor vehicle strikes. Understanding the reasons for these strikes and where collisions are most common could prove useful in developing appropriate strategies to reduce loss. I hypothesize that more turtles are hit during low light periods (early morning and evening) by accident, and that deliberate impact is higher in the daytime when turtles are more visible. I also hypothesize that impact is more likely in urban areas due to the higher number of cars, but the ratio of the number of impacts to the number of cars passing is lower for the urban areas. This could occur because fewer people will hit turtles on purpose on urban roads, possibly for fear of being seen. This could also occur because drivers are more likely to see a car ahead of them dodging something in the road and prepare to dodge it themselves on urban roads. In a pilot study, a rubber toy turtle approximating the size and shape of a real box turtle was placed in the road in an urban setting. In the first hour, 7 out of 267 passing vehicles (2.6 %) swerved and hit the artificial turtle. In subsequent trials, the decoy was struck 2.7% in urban areas (n= 713) and 7.2% in rural areas (n= 153). These findings can be part of a greater conservation strategy for turtles crossing roads in the southeastern United States. They can identify the most dangerous time of day and location (urban vs. rural) for a turtle crossing the road. They can also determine whether vehicle-caused turtle mortality in this area is high enough to be of concern to long-term population survival. This information can be distributed to the public, especially in areas known to have high turtle density. I am using Twitter and Facebook to collect turtle sightings on roads in Pickens County, SC where Clemson is located. I collect GPS coordinates or a description of the location. I will compile this information into GIS and determine turtle crossing hotspots in Pickens County. This will help determine where to focus management efforts. Cureton, J. C. and Deaton, D. R. 2012. Hot Moments and Hot Spots: Identifying Factors Explaining Temporal and Spatial Variation in Turtle Road Mortality. Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 1047-1052.
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