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Title:Ecology of the Smooth Softshell Turtle
Author(s):Ross, Jason
Subject(s):Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Abstract:The Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica) inhabits sandy rivers throughout the Midwest United States. It spends most of its time in the water, though on warm days will soak up the sun basking on sandbars. It is considered an endangered species in the state of Illinois. I am using radio telemetry to investigate the spatial ecology and habitat use of forty Smooth Softshell Turtles. Previous radio telemetry work only followed movement for 1-2 months, whereas my study will follow movement for 2 years. This image shows a male Smooth Softshell Turtle with a radio transmitter basking on a sand bar of the Kaskaskia River in Illinois. The radio transmitter emits a signal, allowing me to track the turtles movement with a receiver and antenna. At every location a turtle is found, I record GPS coordinates along with environmental, habitat, and behavioral data. The data allows me to investigate what habitats are used and how far turtles move up and down the river. The results of my study will provide new insights into the life history of this little-studied species.
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Jason Ross
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-14

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