Habitat characteristics of nesting areas and of predated nests in a Mediterranean population of the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis galloitalica

Marco A.L. Zuffi, Laura Rovina

Abstract


one of the largest population of Emys orbicularis galloitalica of central Italy inhabits the canal system wet areas within a natural protected park. Features of nesting habitats, nest structure, and predation patterns of 209 nests of a large population of the European pond turtle are here presented and analysed. Nest sites were characterised by sunny bushy areas in strip habitat, digged along north-south oriented canals, on average with about 26% of the area covered by vegetation, less than one meter distant from 30 cm height bushes, at about 11 m from water and at about 13 m distance from wooded areas, 28 m away from a road. Principal Component and discriminant analyses were used on 20 selected variables in order to reduce the number of physical variables, and indicate that canal border, strip habitat, and canal orientation are grouping variables, that correctly classified 41.6%, 66.5%, and 100 % respectively of nest presence.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Acta_Herpetol-1250




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