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Tuesday, January 30 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
SYMPOSIA-06: Preliminary Habitat Modeling of Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata) and Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in Indiana

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AUTHORS. Jessica Hinson, Mark Jordan, Bruce Kingsbury – Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

ABSTRACT. Many turtle populations are in decline across the United States due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss, urban development, poaching, and road mortality. Population assessment is a critical element of understanding trends, and thus it is important to approach sampling using effective methods. We conducted visual encounter surveys (VES) and trapping for two state endangered species of turtles in Indiana, the Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) and the Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii). We will present preliminary results of our efforts to model the distribution of both species in Indiana based on recent element occurrences (EOs) and other records, as well as observations from our surveys and trapping efforts. Environmental variables will be chosen based on the ecology of both species (e.g. land cover, soils, wetlands, etc.). We will explore the utility of the modeling to help us identify locations for other populations of Spotted Turtles and Blanding’s Turtles in Indiana, and other areas of potentially suitable habitat that might provide opportunities for recovering populations. The models may also reveal relationships between habitat suitability and urban barriers, such as roads and cities. We hope our efforts will promote better conservation and management practices for both of these state endangered species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm CST