Resident and relocated tortoises: a comparative study in Central Florida
Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) populations occur in all 67 counties in Florida. Due to declining numbers and increasing pressure from urban development and agricultural interests, the gopher tortoise is listed as a species of special concern by the State of Florida. The .. last resort" to saving populations of tortoises is relocation to conservation lands. This study examines a relocation effort in east-central Florida that involved a gopher tortoise population from a planned development site. Twenty-nine tortoises (12 relocated and 17 resident) were fitted with radio transmitters to document movements, habitat use, home range size, and survival. Relocated tortoises had a lower fidelity to the release site, had smaller home ranges, and tended to occur in more marginal habitats. Although the mean number of movements for relocated tortoises was less than that for resident tortoises, the relocated animals moved greater distances. Individuals from both populations increased in shell dimensions during the study; resident tortoises grew more per month, but the growth was not statistically significant from that of the relocated tortoises (p>0.05). Although not statistically significant, survival of resident tortoises was greater than that of relocated tortoises.
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Stout, I. Jack
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Bard, Alice M., "Resident and relocated tortoises: a comparative study in Central Florida" (1989). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4105.