Activity, reproduction and overwintering behavior were investigated in a radio-telemetry study of ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) in the Sandhills region of Nebraska between 1997 and 1999. Based on 477 radio-locations where activity of turtles was known, turtles were active at 20% and inactive at 80%. We located one nest in 1997 and seven in 1998. Eggs were deposited in underground nests between 28 May and 12 June. Mean clutch size in nests was 2.6 eggs. Hatchlings in some nests overwintered under the nest cavities, whereas hatchlings in other nests may have emerged in the fall. Adult turtles spent winters buried underground. Overwintering sites were located and excavated to determine depth to overwintering turtles; mean depth in late March/early April was 54.2 cm. All nests and 17 of 18 overwintering sites were located in upland prairies; one overwintering site was located in a lowland meadow.
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Vol. 148 • No. 2