Skip to Main Content
Spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of wood turtles at the western edge of their distributionAuthor(s): Donald J. Brown; Mark D. Nelson; David J. Rugg; Richard R. Buech; Deahn M. Donner
Source: Journal of Herpetology. 50(3): 347-356.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (448.0 KB)
DescriptionWood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) are a state threatened species at the western edge of their geographic distribution in Minnesota, United States. There is currently little published information regarding habitat use of western populations to assist with conservation initiatives. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate habitat use of a population of Wood Turtles in northeastern Minnesota to determine if habitat-use patterns were similar to other regions. In addition, we assessed the efficacy of two land-cover data sets (National Land Cover Dataset and LANDFIRE Existing Vegetation Type), relative to an aerial-photo–based habitat layer, for assessing habitat use and delineating preferred or avoided habitat classes. We performed this analysis to gauge the value of widely used habitat layers forWood Turtle management and research. We used radio telemetry data collected on 8 males and 14 females between May and November 1990 to assess habitat associations and space-use patterns. We found that Wood Turtles heavily used and generally remained within 100 m of flowing water. Individuals also appeared to prefer other aquatic and semiaquatic habitats when not in or adjacent to flowing water. Despite this population inhabiting a primarily forested landscape, we found little evidence that forest habitat classes were preferred by this species; however, forest age could be an important variable, with younger, more open forest types being used more frequently. We found that neither NLCD nor LANDFIRE were adequate for assessing habitat associations or delineating habitat classes at the scale at which Wood Turtles use the landscape.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBrown, Donald J.; Nelson, Mark D.; Rugg, David J.; Buech, Richard R.; Donner, Deahn M. 2016. Spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of wood turtles at the western edge of their distribution. Journal of Herpetology. 50(3): 347-356.
- GPS Technology for semi-aquatic turtle research
- Identification of wood turtle nesting areas for protection and management
- Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: Survivorship, reproduction, and movements
XML: View XML