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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Size and Demography of Illinois’ Largest Known Blanding’s Turtle Population

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AUTHORS: Callie Klatt Golba, Northern Illinois University; Gary Glowacki, Lake County Forest Preserve District; Richard B. King, Northern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: The Chiwaukee Illinois Beach Lake Plain (Lake Plain) consists of 1,700 ha of protected wetland and upland habitat.  The Lake County Forest Preserve District and partners have monitored Blanding’s Turtles within the 215 ha Spring Bluff – Chiwaukee Prairie (SBCP) unit since 2004; however, little is known regarding the status, distribution, habitat use, and demography of the Blanding's Turtle within the adjacent Illinois Beach State Park (IBSP).  Starting in spring 2017, monitoring expanded to include IBSP where 31 young and 27 adult Blanding’s Turtles were captured in 1,009 trap nights, a 1.1:1 ratio. In comparison, 85 young and 27 adult Blanding’s Turtles were captured in 1,150 trap nights at SBCP, a 3.1:1 ratio. This difference in juvenile to adult capture ratios suggests management efforts at SBCP have been successful in increasing the number of young turtles. The catch per unit effort for adults was similar between sites (0.0235 and 0.0262 captures per trap night at SBCP and IBSP, respectively).  This suggests that adult Blanding’s Turtle density is also similar.  The 2016 population estimate of 119 adults corresponds to a density of 0.56 adults per ha at SBCP. Extrapolating to the entire Lake Plain yields a ball-park estimate of ca. 800 adult Blanding’s Turtles and makes this the largest known population in Illinois.  Information obtained during this study will aid in development of a conservation plan for the Lake Plain in its entirety and provide an assessment of the conservation efforts at SBCP. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (7)