HABRI Central - Resources: Impact of Human Disturbance on the Behavior and Physiology of the Endangered Ringed Sawback Turtle (Graptemys oculifera): About

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is issuing a call for research proposals from institutions and organizations across the globe to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted interventions (AAI), both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

 
You are here: Home / Theses / Impact of Human Disturbance on the Behavior and Physiology of the Endangered Ringed Sawback Turtle (Graptemys oculifera) / About

Impact of Human Disturbance on the Behavior and Physiology of the Endangered Ringed Sawback Turtle (Graptemys oculifera)

By Jessica Heppard

View Link (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Theses
Abstract

Turtles are one of the most threatened taxa worldwide. In addition to direct anthropogenic impacts such as hunting and pollution, unintentional indirect human disturbance affects poikilothermic turtles by disrupting thermoregulatory basking behavior. In this thesis I assess the behavioral and physiologic impacts of high boat traffic, reductions of basking structures, and environmental factors on basking behavior, rates of disturbance, thermoregulation, parasite load, shell condition, and population recruitment in two populations of the endangered ringed sawback (Graptemys oculifera), also known at the ringed map turtle, on the Pearl River outside Jackson, MS. Basking behavior was influenced by availability of basking structures, boat traffic, zone (wake or no wake), boat type, air temperature, weather, and Julian day. Mathematic simulations of anthropogenically disturbed and undisturbed adult female ringed sawbacks shoa decrease in body temperatures due to disturbance, an effect which was magnified in higher probabilities of disturbance and in the months of May and June compared to July and August. Parasite load did not differ between populations, despite apparent differences in human disturbance. Shell condition was poorer in the population near urban development, and fewer juveniles and young adults were found in the population subject to higher boat traffic. This study explores the effect of unintentional human disturbance on ectothermic riverine turtles and provides management recommendations for the conservation of an endangered, endemic species.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2018
Pages 92
Department Biology
Degree M.S. in Biological Science
URL https://egrove.olemiss.edu/etd/1277/
Language English
University The University of Mississippi
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal physiology
  2. Animal roles
  3. Endangered species
  4. Human-animal interactions
  5. human-wildlife interactions
  6. open access
  7. turtles
  8. Wild animals
Badges
  1. open access