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    Author(s): Thomas J. Maier; Michael N. Marchand; Richard M. DeGraaf; John A. Litvaitis
    Date: 2002
    Source: Herpetological Review 33(4):284-287
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northeastern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (613.37 KB)

    Description

    Predation is the predominant source of nest mortality for most North American turtle species, including populations that are in decline (Brooks et al. 1992; Congdon et al. 2000). The identification of nest predators---crucial to understanding predator-prey relationships---has been previously accomplished largely by use of techniques that rely on the availability of physical evidence, such as animal sign (predominantly tracks) and nest/egg remains at depredated nests (e.g., Standing et al. 2000). Such techniques, however, are subjective and might preclude the identification of those species actually responsible for nest predation for numerous reasons, including: nesting substrates seldom retain identifiable tracks (Burger 1977; MacIvor et al. 1990), more than one species of predator might visit nests (Burger 1977; Larivihre 1999; Leimgruber et al. 1994), and numerous predator species might leave similar nest remains (Hernandez et al. 1997a; Larivihre 1999; Pietz and Granfors 2000). Further, the behavioral and temporal patterns of predators are rarely discernible via animal sign or nest remains. Therefore, comprehensive quantitative evaluations of turtle nest predation and predators have been infrequent (Burger 1977), although such detailed studies are clearly required (Tinkle et al. 1981).

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    Citation

    Maier, Thomas J.; Marchand, Michael N.; DeGraaf, Richard M.; Litvaitis, John A. 2002. A Subterranean Camera Trigger for Identifying Predators Excavating Turtle Nests. Herpetological Review 33(4):284-287

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