Box turtles are becoming scarce due to habitat destruction, car accidents, and the pet industry. Some studies show that box turtles moved from their home range do not survive. We also do not have a lot of information about box turtles such as home range size, food habits, and reproduction. Our study will help biologists better understand box turtles and help to conserve them for future generations.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Box Turtle populations are declining across the United States due to habitat loss and human interference. With a decrease in forested areas, turtles are more likely to be found in roads or urban neighborhoods. When turtles are found in roads, people often relocate the turtle to a "better" location. Relocated turtles spend the rest of their lives getting back to their home, and may die in the process. Humans also take turtles out of the wild to sell or keep as pets.
How will this project solve this problem?
This project will help biologists determine whether or not turtles can be successfully relocated into suitable habitat, after human interference. We will track the box turtles using radio telemetry to determine whether they will adapt and create new home ranges in suitable habitat, or if they attempt to go back home. We will also study box turtles in our park to research home range size, food habits, hibernation, and reproduction. More data is needed to help conserve this species.
Potential Long Term Impact
The results of this study will help conserve the populations by determining whether or not relocated turtles can survive in new lands. These results may give relocated turtles a chance to survive. Not only will this help relocated turtles find new homes, this may also help rehabilitators who have turtles from unknown origins. With more research we can convince lawmakers to make it illegal to take turtles out of the wild, as well as educate the public on how to conserve these threatened animals.
Total Funding Received to Date: $4,600
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $5,180
Total Funding Goal: $9,780