Ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) are a threatened species in Illinois. In 2011, a head-start program initiated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge was conducted at two zoological facilities. Variable success in artificial incubation and hatching of eggs was noted between the institutions. In 2012, artificially incubated eggs from eight clutches (n = 28) and nine batched clutches of unknown total egg count incubated in situ had the hatched egg shells submitted for mineral content analysis. All minerals showed significant differences, except sulfur. Future analysis of fertile and infertile eggs or successful and unsuccessful hatches would provide additional interpretation for use of shell mineral analysis for captive propagation of this species.
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Vol. 24 • No. 3-4