Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

James T. Tanner

Committee Members

David A. Etnier, H. R. DeSelm


During 1968, a quantitative and descriptive field study was made in a 23 acre woodland on a population of the eastern box turtle. The area was systematically searched and turtles were repeatedly collected, marked, weighed, and released. Trees were marked at 256 foot intervals so that the exact location of captured turtles could be recorded. A trailing device was used to study movements of some turtles.

Smaller turtles were found to be more active in the fall as 37.3 percent of the turtles captured during September and October weighed less than 300 grams as compared to 23.3 percent during July and August and 16.6 percent during April through June. Individual turtles generally had a peak in weight in the latter part of the summer. The average home range diameter was estimated to be 248 feet for 76 turtles captured three or more times. The adult population density was estimated to be between 7.6 and 9.2 turtles per acre.

Five turtles were trailed from 21 October to 31 January. These turtles remained somewhat active until 13 December from which time there was no movement until 24 January. The average depth of the hibernacula during January was about 6.0 inches below the surface of the leaf litter.

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