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Fine- and coarse-scale movements and habitat use by Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) based on probabilistic modeling of radiotelemetry and GPS-telemetry data

Thompson, D.G., Swystun, T., Cross, J., Cross, R., Chartrand, D., Edge, C.B.
Canadian journal of zoology 2018 v.96 no.10 pp. 1153-1164
Glyptemys insculpta, adults, animals, data collection, females, global positioning systems, habitat preferences, habitats, males, probabilistic models, radio telemetry, risk, rivers
Understanding animal movement and habitat use is critical for the delineation of habitat requiring protection for species at risk. Defining critical habitat requires studies with observations at a fine enough scale to reflect how animals use and move among habitats and include enough individuals to generalize findings to the population. We present results of a multiyear study on 48 adult Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta (Le Conte, 1830)) from two different populations monitored with low-frequency radiotelemetry and high-frequency GPS telemetry. Results demonstrated the propensity for conventional radiotelemetry to underestimate cumulative distances moved and overestimate the amount of habitat used by Wood Turtles. Together the two data sets demonstrate the propensity for Wood Turtles to remain in close proximity to the river and that some differences in habitat use occur between the sexes; males tended to move parallel to the river, whereas females moved perpendicular to the river. The GPS-telemetry data provided a robust spatiotemporal data set that provided a better understanding of frequently used habitat types and features. Overall, study results suggest that currently delineated areas of protected habitat are likely to be effective in conserving these two populations and provides significantly improved, spatially explicit knowledge that can be used to inform further mitigation efforts if necessary.