Title

Activity and movements of midland painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) living in a small marsh system on Beaver Island, Michigan

Department

Natural Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Journal of Herpetology

Publication Date

2003-01-01

Volume

37

Issue

2

First Page

342

Last Page

353

Abstract

I used radio-telemetry to study home-range size and the impact of seasonal and daily temperature and weather patterns on activity and movements (May to August 1999 and 2000) in a population of Chrysemys picta marginata living in a small marsh system on Beaver Island, Michigan. Male and female home ranges were similar in size. Within the home range, most individuals favored one or two core areas. Total daily distance moved (based on three daily radio-locations per individual) averaged 68.1 m/day and was significantly different between years (1999: x̄ = 102 m/day-1 vs. 2000: x̄ = 39 m/day) but was not affected by gender or daily variations in water temperature or weather conditions during the summer months. Twenty-four-hour monitoring of individuals revealed that most turtles showed both diurnal and nocturnal activity. Home-range size averaged 1.2 ha and was larger in 1999 (x̄ = 1.8 ha, N = 7) than in 2000 (x̄ = 0.7 ha, N = 8). Annual differences in total daily distance moved and in home-range size probably occurred because the marsh was relatively small in 2000 because of low precipitation in that year. Terrestrial activity and multiple activity centers were observed mainly in males in 2000 and probably represented attempts by individuals to escape the crowded conditions of the Main Marsh area as its surface area decreased throughout the summer.

DOI

10.1670/0022-1511(2003)037[0342:AAMOMP]2.0.CO;2

https://doi.org/10.1670/0022-1511(2003)037[0342:AAMOMP]2.0.CO;2

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