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Monday, January 25 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Assessment and Conservation of a Wood Turtle Glyptemys Insculpta Population Over 46 Years in Northern Michigan

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AUTHORS: James H. Harding, Michigan State University; Peter Wilson, Independent Researcher; David A. Mifsud, Herpetological Resource and Management

ABSTRACT: In 1969 a study was established to evaluate the demography, spatial distribution, and overall population viability in a northern Michigan population of Glyptemys insculpta. During the duration of this study (and particularly the late 1980s- early 1990s) the population was significantly reduced by poaching, presumably for the illegal pet trade. Substantial and increasing nest and direct mortality from over-populated raccoons, and perhaps other subsidized meso-predators, have exacerbated the turtle's decline and prevented any potential recovery. Efforts began in the late 1990s to test the possibility of augmenting recruitment through artificial incubation of eggs for immediate hatchling release, and by headstarting and raising of young for one season prior to release. We will offer comments on what has been learned over 46 years of observations, along with practical conservation recommendations to help conserve this declining species.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
Emerald B