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1 November 2018 Observations of Wood Turtle Activity, Diet, Movements, and Morphometrics in the Central Appalachians
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Glyptemys insculpta (Wood Turtle) populations are declining as habitat is developed and individuals are collected for the pet trade. Information about the natural history and life history of the species can help inform conservation strategies, especially for populations about which little information is currently available. Because basic ecological information is lacking for populations in the Central Appalachians, we studied the natural history of Wood Turtles in West Virginia from 2009 to 2011. Wood Turtle males were larger than females in carapace length and width, bridge height, and mass. Turtles were primarily terrestrial in spring and summer and aquatic in autumn and winter. Aquatic mating was most prevalent in autumn. Nesting attempts, which were mostly in sandy substrates, were made in spring during early morning and evening. Slugs made up the majority (67%) of the turtles' diet, although other invertebrates, vertebrate remains, berries, and green leaves were also consumed. In autumn, turtles entered the river for brumation. This study adds to our understanding of the natural history of Wood Turtles near the southern extent of their range.
Kathryn R.P. McCoard, Noah S. McCoard, and James T. Anderson "Observations of Wood Turtle Activity, Diet, Movements, and Morphometrics in the Central Appalachians," Northeastern Naturalist 25(4), 513-531, (1 November 2018).
Published: 1 November 2018

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