Alteration and loss of habitat is a major factor in the recent declines of many turtle populations. However, there are few studies of turtle populations in areas that are used intensively by humans. We used temporal symmetry modeling and an information-theoretic approach to model selection to estimate survival and recruitment in a population of Ornate Box Turtles, Terrapene ornata, in fragmented, isolated habitat over an eight-year period. Apparent annual survival was high during this period (0.97, SE = 0.06), as was the seniority probability (0.95 ± 0.04). Recruitment into the adult population (λ) was estimated at 1.02 (± 0.06). Our results suggest a healthy population, but we note several reasons for a cautious management approach. These include a vulnerability of λ to the removal of adults, the need for increased recruitment to offset loss of genetic diversity, and the uncertainty of our estimates resulting from the sampling and modeling processes.
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