The ecology of Kinosternon baurii (Striped Mud Turtle) has been studied in only a few locations within its range, which means we do not have baseline data to understand the ecology of this species. Further, no studies have been conducted on Striped Mud Turtles in restored wetlands, which are increasingly common in Florida landscapes and across the globe. Comparing populations in restored habitats to natural habitats could give insight into restoration success that focuses on supporting robust semi-aquatic turtle populations. We conducted a mark–recapture study at a restored wetland in Circle B Bar Reserve, in Polk County, FL, to assess the population size, sex ratios and morphometrics of the Striped Mud Turtle. We found a population estimate of 90 adults, from over 2849 checked trap nights over 2 years. Previous studies in natural habitats found larger populations of Striped Mud Turtles. Our morphometric data is similar to others in central and south Florida but adds to the conclusion that habitat variation can impact size variation of Striped Mud Turtles. In our population, we had more females than males (68.8% females), which appears to be consistent for Striped Mud Turtles in most other study sites. Overall, our study provides additional knowledge on the ecology, population size, and morphometrics of Striped Mud Turtles, which local reserve managers can use to better understand the turtles, especially in restored habitats.
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Vol. 19 • No. 3