To provide estimates of Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidae blandingii) hatchling survival and to better understand the utility of alternative management tactics targeting this age class, we monitored survival and movements after natural (caged) and artificial incubation by using radio telemetry. We found that survival was similarly high (ca. 80% over 88 days) across treatments and study locations. Movement distances were similar among treatments but differed among study locations, perhaps because of differences in release site habitat variables. Our results suggest that nest cages and artificial incubation are equally effective methods for increasing survival to hatching. Extrapolating from the 88 days of our study, until resumption of activity following hibernation, we found survival estimates of 40%–78%, depending on the survival function used. When coupled with published rates of nest survival (6%–41%) and hatch success (47%–87%), anticipated age 0 survival, from egg deposition to emergence from hibernation, ranged from 1%–28%. Although our analysis fills a knowledge gap in Blanding's Turtle demography, further study is needed to improve the precision of survival estimates.
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Vol. 55 • No. 2