Movement patterns and activity of the Brazilian snake-necked turtle Hydromedusa maximiliani (Testudines: Chelidae) in southeastern Brazil

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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To investigate the movement patterns and activity of Hydromedusa maximiliani in southeastern Brazil, sixteen adult freshwater turtles (eight males and eight females) were monitored with radio-transmitters from October 2009 to November 2010. An additional 22 turtles (11 males and 11 females) were monitored with thread-bobbins over a 3-day period. Hydromedusa maximiliani showed strong tendency to remain close to the river course. The distance moved each day varied from 0 to 179 m/day (radio-tracking) and 1.5 to 201 m/day (thread-bobbins). Males moved greater distances than females during the mating season (August to November), while females exhibited pronounced movements associated with egg-laying (December to February). Male and female movements did not differ significantly. Straight line distance measurements, usually obtained by radio-tracking, underestimate actual movement distances, since the nonlinearity of movements is not captured by radio-tracking as opposed to spool tracking, even when long distances are travelled. Results from this study are important for establishing conservation strategies for this vulnerable species.

Movement patterns and activity of the Brazilian snake-necked turtle Hydromedusa maximiliani (Testudines: Chelidae) in southeastern Brazil

in Amphibia-Reptilia



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    Annual rainfall and mean air temperature at Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, between January 2008 and December 2010. Owing to technical problems, meteorological data were not collected between July and September 2008.

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    Comparison among three days of monitoring of Hydromedusa maximiliani tracked with thread-bobbins. (A) Straight line distance; (B) effective distance moved (2008 and 2009 data); (C) effective distance moved (all animals).

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    Movement patterns of females (A) and males (B) of Hydromedusa maximiliani tracked by thread-bobbins (DFIS, distance from final to initial site, and TEDM, total effective distance moved).

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    Male Hydromedusa maximiliani tracked with a radio-transmitter sharing a refuge with a female at the Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Relationship between body size (carapace length) and dispersal (daily movements) of Hydromedusa maximiliani at the Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Circles, females; triangles, males; the line represents a positive correlation between CL and DMR.


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