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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P05) Monitoring Spotted Turtles in an Ohio Fen: Do Decoys Increase Capture Rates?

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AUTHORS. Katrina M. Rosing, Madison T. Nadler, Abigail Henson– Wittenberg University; Michelle Comer, ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves; Richard S. Phillips, Wittenberg University

ABSTRACT. The spotted turtle is found in disjunct populations in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.  Each state in the Midwest has afforded the species protection and, consequently, population monitoring is critical.  To monitor turtle population in a southwest Ohio fen, we used minnow traps with and without spotted turtle decoys as well as trail cameras.  During 2017, 12 spotted turtles were documented over 2,520 trap nights with a total of 51 spotted turtle captures and recaptures, with a single new turtle was identified by trail cam for a total of 13 documented animals.  In 2017, capture rates were highest in late March and April (4.6 and 5.4/100 trap nights respectively) with no captures in October.  In 2018, a total of 12 recaptures (no new animals) occurred during 1,033 trap nights with capture rates highest in May and June (1.6 and 2.9/100 trap nights respectively).  Overall capture rates were 2 turtles/100 trap nights in 2017 and 1 turtle/100 trap nights.  Although data from 2017 suggests the benefit of male decoys (27 captures over 1,106) over female decoys (18 captures over 1,099 nights), data from 2018 is contradictory regarding the influence of decoys on capture rates.  Trap nights with female decoys (386) resulted in 8 turtle captures, while male decoys (399) and traps without any decoys (248) resulted in 1 and 3 captures respectively.  Trapping efforts continue to determine the influence of decoys on spotted turtle captures rates in fen habitats.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Attendees (12)