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Tuesday, April 17 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
RARE SPECIES CONSERVATION: New Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) Conservation and Monitoring Program in Vermont

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AUTHORS: Kiley V. Briggs, Christopher L. Jenkins - The Orianne Society

ABSTRACT. The Orianne Society (TOS) is launching a new research and conservation program in the northeast called the Great Northern Forests Initiative. Through this initiative, TOS will implement and promote conservation practices that benefit reptiles and amphibians in forested and riparian habitat, with initial focus on conservation and restoration of habitat for Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), a globally-endangered semi-aquatic species requiring access to both well-oxygenated flowing water and upland foraging habitat. Beginning with a state-wide assessment of the status, distribution, and occupancy rates of Wood Turtles in Vermont using visual encounter surveys, TOS will identify areas critical to Wood Turtle populations and then target conservation efforts in those areas. In 2018, TOS’s role in Wood Turtle conservation will be one of public outreach, increasing awareness among landowners, especially farmers, of the various conservation, cost-share, and financial incentive programs capable of restoring Wood Turtle habitat, but in future years that role will expand to include active habitat management. While TOS will promote any management practice that benefits Wood Turtles, emphasis will be placed on practices that reduce adult mortality, especially through establishing and improving riparian buffers along streams in which Wood Turtles overwinter. Other conservation practices will vary depending on locally-specific conservation threats identified through population monitoring methods such as radio telemetry, mark-recapture, and habitat assessments. These efforts will increase public awareness and support of Wood Turtle conservation and eventually halt or reverse the decline of Wood Turtle populations in areas most critical to the species.

Tuesday April 17, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm EDT
Adirondack A