Identifying habitats in which a species is likely to be found is extremely important for understanding the life history and general ecology of the species. Studies of habitat selection by species at risk provide information for management and recovery programs on critical habitat and are essential for conservation programs to be effective. Many studies on species at risk are conducted in highly altered or degraded habitats because few areas have not experienced human impacts. We investigated habitat selection by Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in a large protected area, Algonquin Park. Specifically, we evaluated macrohabitat selection at 2 spatial scales (home range and individual location) and microhabitat selection at one scale. Macrohabitat selection was significant at the home range scale but not at the scale of individual location, and no shift in habitat selection was detected among different seasons. Habitat ranks were ambiguous because all wetland types were preferred over lotic and upland habitats. The microhabitat selection data showed no preference for habitat features or shifts among different seasons. These data combined with those from other studies suggest that large study sites in relatively pristine areas may include a large amount of suitable high-quality habitats such that habitat selection at a fine scale may not be detected or multiple habitat types may provide the resources necessary to support populations.
Nomenclature: Ernst & Lovich, 2009.