Population ecology and home range of the Mexican Rough-footed Mud Turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi) in Central Mexico

Alejandro Montiel-Ugalde, Ángeles Aparicio, Eder Gaona Murillo, Taggert Butterfield, Rodrigo Macip-Ríos

Abstract


Population ecology and demographic data are fundamental for species management and conservation planning. For Mexican kinosternid turtles there is a need for basic natural history and population ecology data. The Rough-footed Mud Turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi) is one of the lesser-studied species, even though it is broadly distributed, occurring from Western Texas to Central Mexico. We conducted a study on the species in Michoacán, Mexico for two years. Basic population parameters were estimated, and telemetry was used to measure home range size and movements of males and females. Population size in a 1.42-hectare wetland was calculated to be 301 (± SE 5.89) individuals, mainly adults. The adult sex ratio was skewed toward males (3.1:1). Female home range size was larger than that of males, and males moved larger distances between relocation events. The radio-tracked individuals did not leave the water during winter months and during the dry season. Habitat degradation due to eutrophication may be affecting population survivorship and recruitment.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Acta_Herpetol-22876




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