SREL Reprint #0244




A Preliminary Report on the Examination of Small Mammal Census MethodsTerrestrial Activity in Aquatic Turtles

David H. Bennett, J. Whitfield Gibbons, and J. Christian Franson



Individuals of three species of aquatic turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum, Pseudemys scripta and Deirochelys reticularia) were captured in drift fences after emigrating from a Carolina bay in South Carolina.  Each turtle was tagged with Tantalum-182 pins and relocated with a portable beta-gamma survey meter.  Turtles were found burrowed at various depths (1-22 cm) below the surface and up to 600 m from the aquatic environment.  The number of days an individual was followed and the land distance moved were significantly correlated.  Temporary emigration and shallow burrowing by K. subrubrum are possibly mechanisms for predator avoidance in that individuals which concentrate in a drying-up aquatic area are selected against.


SREL Reprint #0244

Bennett, D.H., J.W. Gibbons, and J.C. Franson. 1970. Terrestrial activity in aquatic turtles. Ecology 51:738-740.

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