Title

Nest placement, nest-site fidelity and nesting movements in midland painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) on Beaver Island, Michigan

Department

Natural Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

American Midland Naturalist

Publication Date

2005-01-01

Volume

154

Issue

2

First Page

383

Last Page

397

Abstract

We studied nest-site fidelity (1995-2000) and nest predation (1997-2000), and nesting movements (1999-2000) in a population of Chrysemys picta marginata at Miller's Marsh on Beaver Island, Michigan. On average, turtles nested farther (mean = 122.3 m) from the marsh than turtles in previously studied populations, possibly because of the relatively large nesting areas (n = 5) of our study. Nest predation was 17.4% over all years and was independent of nest location (distance from water, road vs. field nests, nesting field). Many turtles showed nest-site fidelity between years in that they favored one or two nesting areas and had annual inter-nest distances (ID) that were positively skewed and significantly less (mean = 88.7 m) than IDs of randomly paired nests of different individuals. Radiotelemetry indicated that most turtles emerged during the mid-afternoon and nested during the evening hours. Nesting excursion duration averaged 11.6 h and 75% remained on land overnight after nesting. The use of terrestrial refugia before and after the nesting process presumably reflected thermal limitations on movements. When compared to turtles that nested relatively close to the marsh, turtles that nested relatively far from the marsh initiated nesting movements earlier in the day, had circuitous routes to and from the nest site and had relatively long nesting excursion duration. The location of an aquatic home range apparently influenced nest-site selection and fidelity in some individuals although other individuals nested relatively far from the aquatic home range.

DOI

10.1674/0003-0031(2005)154[0383:NPNFAN]2.0.CO;2

https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2005)154[0383:NPNFAN]2.0.CO;2

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