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Monday, January 25 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Movement Patterns of a Wood Turtle Population in Minnesota

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AUTHORS: Madaline M. Cochrane*, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Donald J. Brown, West Virginia University; Ron A. Moen, University of Minnesota-Duluth

ABSTRACT: The wood turtle Glyptemys insculpta is a state threatened, semi-terrestrial species at the western extent of its range in northeastern Minnesota. Numerous studies have investigated wood turtle habitat use and movement with VHF tracking, particularly in the eastern United States. However, no studies to date have utilized GPS technology to study fine-scale habitat use patterns. In June 2015, we fitted turtles with combination VHF and GPS units, as well as temperature loggers. GPS and temperature data were recorded every 10 minutes. We tracked movements of 26 turtles along a 40-km stretch of river in Northeast Minnesota from June to September. Preliminary analyses suggest the furthest distance traveled by individuals via river movements was 4600 m. During the post-nesting months of June and July, turtles spent 90% (19% SD) of time within 120 m of the river, and 50% (13% SD) of time within 50 m of the river. The maximum distance dispersed inland was 350 m. GPS data tracking of 23 individuals will continue in the spring and summer of 2016. Due to the scarcity of information regarding wood turtle habitat use at the western edge of their range, our research will be valuable for local and regional management of this threatened species.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am EST
Emerald B