Wildlife relocations, repatriations, and translocations (RRTs) are strategies that are often used for by conservation managers as a method of reestablishing viable animal populations. The effectiveness of RRT studies has been called into question by some researchers, but more data are needed on the strategy to fully understand its utility. I compared the movement patterns, home range sizes, and body condition between a group of resident and translocated adult three-toed box turtles (Terrapene carolina triunguis). Each turtle from both groups was radio-tracked at least 2-3 times per month except during the winter months. Minimum convex polygons home range sizes estimated with Geographic Information System (GIS) showed no statistical difference between resident (7.89 ± 9.17 ha) and translocated (14.22 ± 7.13 ha) groups (t = 1.43, df = 10, P = 0.18). Similarly, no statistical difference was seen in mean distance moved (t = 0.27, df = 10, P = 0.79), or maximum distance moved (t = 01.0, df = 10, P = 0.34) between the two groups. After eighteen months of radio-tracking none of the translocated turtles left the study site. These results suggest that translocation may be a viable conservation strategy for three-toed box turtles.

Date of publication

Summer 8-1-2012

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