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Monday, January 25 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Wood Turtle Conservation and Research in Michigan as Part of Upper Midwest Collaborative Effort

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AUTHORS: Yu Man Lee*, Michigan Natural Features Inventory/Michigan State University Extension; Timothy L. Lewis, University of St. Thomas

ABSTRACT: The Upper Midwest Riverine Turtle Project is a collaborative effort among Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa funded through a Comprehensive –State Wildlife Grant (C-SWG) focusing primarily on the wood turtle. In Michigan, the wood turtle is a species of special concern. It also has been identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Michigan’s Wildlife Action Plan. Threats to wood turtle populations in Michigan include habitat loss and fragmentation, limited recruitment due to nest predation, road mortality, collection, and human disturbance from intensive recreational use in and along rivers and streams. Loss and degradation of suitable nesting habitat and reduced nesting success due to streambank stabilization, recreational use, flooding, invasive species, and/or vegetative succession also threaten some populations. This project addresses some of these threats by identifying areas with suitable nesting habitat for wood turtles that are safe from flooding, protecting nests from predation, identifying areas that may be barriers to turtle movement, enhancing nesting habitat, and assessing the effectiveness of some of these conservation actions. Aerial photo interpretation, radio-telemetry, and/or field surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2015 to identify areas with suitable flood-safe nesting habitat and areas that may be barriers to turtle movement within the study areas. Wood turtle nests were identified and protected using individual nest enclosures, and monitored to determine nesting success and effectiveness of the nest enclosures. Results from this project will help inform and guide management and conservation for wood turtles in Michigan and the Upper Midwest. Highlights of results from the project in Michigan will be presented.

Monday January 25, 2016 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
Emerald B