Study

Comparison of movements, body weight, and habitat selection between translocated and resident gopher tortoises

  • Published source details Bauder J.M., Castellano C., Jensen J.B., Stevenson D.J. & Jenkins C.L. (2014) Comparison of movements, body weight, and habitat selection between translocated and resident gopher tortoises. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78, 1444-1455.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

    A replicated, controlled study in 2012 in two sites of dry scrub and mixed, open forest in southern Georgia, USA (Bauder et al. 2014) found that some translocated gopher tortoises Gopherus polyphemus survived for at least a year and moved more than resident tortoises. Of translocated tortoises that were tagged, eight of 10 (site 1) and 10 of 11 (site 2) survived at least one year following release.  Translocated tortoises moved more than resident tortoises (translocated female: 894 m, translocated male: 1,637 m; resident female: 237 m, resident male: 1,410 m), and for two measures of home range size, translocated tortoises had larger home ranges than residents (method 1: translocated: 0–147 ha; resident: 0–13 ha; method 2: translocated: 1–256 ha; resident: 0–64 ha). Thirty-two adult tortoises were trapped in August and September 2011 and split equally between two release sites.  Tortoises were placed in circular enclosures (1 ha) in starter burrows (1 m long) and held for an average of 281 or 290 days. At each site, 10 and 11 translocated tortoises and eight and seven resident tortoises were fitted with radio transmitters. In June 2012, the enclosure fencing was removed and tortoises were located weekly until October 2012, and then every 1–4 months until June 2013.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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