Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   Demographics, Activity, and Habitat Selection of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene c. carolina) in West Virginia
Author:   Justin Adam Weiss
College:   Science
Degree Program:   Biological Sciences, M.S.
Degree:   Master of Science
Committee Director:   Thomas Pauley
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04/07/09

Little is known about the eastern box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina, in West Virginia. The purpose of this study was to compare demographic data between two populations of box turtles, to determine which environmental parameter(s) influence activity patterns, and to describe the optimal habitat of the box turtles at two study sites (Lake and State Park) at Beech Fork Wildlife Management Area. I observed male-skewed sex ratios and low numbers of juveniles in both populations. Male turtles were larger than females in carapace length, but females were larger in carapace height. Turtles at the Lake site exhibited greater body mass and carapace height due to more food and shelter availability. Turtles were most likely found active in the morning hours due to cooler air temperatures, but warmer substrate temperatures. Optimal box turtle habitat conditions at the study site were mixed hardwood forests with nearby fields and 1st order streams.  

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