Study

Survival and causes of mortality of head-started western pond turtles on Pierce National Wildlife Refuge, Washington

  • Published source details Vander Haegen W.M., Clark S.L., Perillo K.M., Anderson D.P. & Allen H.L. (2009) Survival and causes of mortality of head-started western pond turtles on Pierce National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73, 1402-1406.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

    A replicated study in 1999–2004 in a wetland site with a lake and ponds in Washington, USA (Vander Haegen et al. 2009) found that released head-started western pond turtles Actinemys marmorata had high survival over 1–4 years following their release. Annual survival of head-started was estimated at 80–100%, with 0–5 turtles found dead each year (of 16–46 turtles monitored/year).  Hatchling turtles were collected from nests in September–October 1999–2002 and were head-started in local zoos for 10–11 months before release. Turtles that had not reached 50 g were held for an additional year. Head-started turtles were marked and released in 2000 (40 turtles), 2001 (38), 2002 (59) and 2003 (51). A subset of turtles (16–20 turtles/year, 68 in total) were radio tagged and relocated 1–3 times/per week, or once/week during winter.   

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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