Biology Department Faculty Research and Publications

Title

Spatial relationships of the desert box turtle

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Herpetological Conservation and Biology

Publication Date

6-2014

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

156

Last Page

162

Abstract

I radiotracked Desert Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata luteola) captured at a stock tank in desert grassland habitat in southeastern Arizona from 2001-2003. Individual turtles lived in well-defined 95% MCP home ranges, which included the stock tank and overlapped with home ranges of other turtles. Turtles moved 135 m daily in home ranges averaging 9.8 ha and 469 m across greatest axis. Turtles typically returned to the burrow from which they began their daily movements. There were no sexual differences in daily movement or home range size, nor were there annual differences in daily movement among individuals. Seven of 11 turtles made temporary long distance movements averaging 1,066 m away from their home ranges. Six of 11 turtles exhibited significant directionality in their movements relative to the stock tank. Terrapene o. luteola is a species of conservation concern in Arizona. The spatial information presented in this paper can assist science-based management decisions because it contributes to a better understanding of the core habitat requirements of T. o. luteola.

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