Abstract

Depredation rates on turtle nests can be very high, resulting in low recruitment to populations. Understanding predator foraging habits and nesting ecology of turtles is essential for the long-term management of threatened turtle species. Cues used by predators to locate wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) nests were investigated by creating simulated nests with 1 of 4 treatments: soil disturbance, water with turtle scent, soil disturbance plus turtle scent, or distilled water. Nest predators primarily used soil disturbance cues for locating nests. Additionally, artificial nests with buried chicken eggs were created at varying distances from the river and monitored for predation. Nest predation decreased as nest distance from the river increased. These data can be used to develop strategies for more effective management of this threatened species.

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