Spatio-temporal differences in the use of agricultural fields by male and female wood turtles (Glyptemys Insculpta) inhabiting an agri-forest Mosaic

Reid Tingley, Dean G. McCurdy, Mark D. Pulsifer, Tom B. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted negative effects of agricultural activity on populations of the Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta). Mitigating effects of agriculture on this imperiled species will require a thorough understanding of sexual and spatio-temporal differences in the use of fields by turtles. We investigated these factors using radio-telemetry data collected at the north-eastern limit of the species' range in Nova Scotia, Canada. Males used hayfields more frequently and for a greater proportion of the active season than did females, exposing them to greater risk of machineryrelated mortality. Maintaining 43 m riparian buffer zones would protect males 95% of the time, although such buffers would encompass less than 65% of female movements. The only two mortalities recorded in our study were males. Perhaps more importantly, these males were killed during the second harvest, illustrating that the recommendations of a previous study, which suggested that disc mower blades be raised only during the first harvest, might not apply throughout the species' range. Possible strategies for conserving Wood Turtles within agricultural landscapes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalHerpetological Conservation and Biology
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Conservation
  • Habitat use
  • Haying
  • Mmovement
  • Mortality
  • Wood Turtle

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