Abstract

Long-term data sets are critical in assessing populations of long-lived species such as turtles. The Urban Turtle Project was initiated in 2018 to begin building a long-term data set on the demography and ecology of the turtle populations in various urban waterways of Birmingham, Alabama. Another goal of the project is to increase public awareness of the state's impressive chelonian diversity by employing citizen scientists on semiannual sampling weekends. In its 2-yr existence, 52 participants volunteered over 200 hrs during 4 sampling weekends, with 16 volunteering for multiple weekends. Over 200 turtles of 10 species were sampled, with the majority of captures (n = 83) being Alabama map turtles (Graptemys pulchra), a historically understudied species. Collected demographic and reproductive data contribute to a better understanding of natural history of G. pulchra and how this and other species exist in an urban environment.

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