Home range and movement of Blanding's Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in New Hampshire


Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding's Turtle) is a Species of Special Concern in New Hampshire, yet it has received little research attention. As part of a broader study to establish conservation and management guidelines for this species, we radio-tagged 18 Blanding's Turtles to determine home range and movement patterns within two study areas Of Southeastern and central New Hampshire from 2000-2002. Mean daily movement of female turtles peaked In June coincident with nesting, whereas movement of males peaked in August and September coincident with all increase in mating, activity. Median adaptive kernel home range (HR) and core range (CR) estimates for turtles in central New Hampshire (HR = 12.5 ha, CR = 3.1 ha) were larger as compared to southeastern Populations (HR = 3.7 ha, CR = 1.6 ha). This difference could not be readily explained by characteristics of the turtles, Such as age, size, or sex. New Hampshire populations of Blanding's Turtles exhibit intermediate home range sizes compared to other parts of the species distribution. Forty-five percent of turtles exhibited multimodal location distributions in core range estimates. Mating and estivating turtles were always found within their core range area, whereas turtles occasionally traveled outside of core ranges to seek Suitable overwintering sites. Thirty-eight percent Of turtles used the same overwintering habitat for 2 consecutive winters. Location-specific information regarding key nesting and overwintering areas may be important to the conservation of the species.

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Northeastern Naturalist


Eagle Hill Publications

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