Streaming Media

Start Date

1-3-2021 4:40 PM

End Date

1-3-2021 4:50 PM

Abstract

Abstract: Oregon’s native turtle species have undergone population declines over recent decades and are both listed as Sensitive-Critical in the Oregon Conservation Strategy. Exact causes of this decline are not known, but most hypotheses involve habitat loss as the primary cause. To better understand these region-wide declines, I performed local historic data, aquatic vegetation and complexity surveys, and two years (2019-2020) of turtle nesting surveys at sites distributed throughout the Lower Willamette Basin to determine minimum habitat requirements for a self-sustaining turtle population. Western painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) are the most common native turtle in this area. This study found that regular human and pet use of wetland areas negatively impacts nesting events and frequency. Data also indicate that hatchlings emerge in the spring as has been shown in previous studies. Further research is required to determine other limiting factors for turtle occupancy. Potential management actions based on our findings include decreasing human and pet access to potential nesting sites and pond shores particularly during the turtle nesting season in June & July, improving nesting substrate at sites, and installing small woody debris structures to improve juvenile brood habitat.

Subjects

Animal ecology, Habitat restoration, Wildlife biology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35503

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Mar 1st, 4:40 PM Mar 1st, 4:50 PM

Can turtles and humans coexist? An examination of the minimum habitat requirements of Western painted turtles in Oregon

Abstract: Oregon’s native turtle species have undergone population declines over recent decades and are both listed as Sensitive-Critical in the Oregon Conservation Strategy. Exact causes of this decline are not known, but most hypotheses involve habitat loss as the primary cause. To better understand these region-wide declines, I performed local historic data, aquatic vegetation and complexity surveys, and two years (2019-2020) of turtle nesting surveys at sites distributed throughout the Lower Willamette Basin to determine minimum habitat requirements for a self-sustaining turtle population. Western painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) are the most common native turtle in this area. This study found that regular human and pet use of wetland areas negatively impacts nesting events and frequency. Data also indicate that hatchlings emerge in the spring as has been shown in previous studies. Further research is required to determine other limiting factors for turtle occupancy. Potential management actions based on our findings include decreasing human and pet access to potential nesting sites and pond shores particularly during the turtle nesting season in June & July, improving nesting substrate at sites, and installing small woody debris structures to improve juvenile brood habitat.