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|All Authors / Contributors:||John W Rowe; Kristy A Coval; Matthew R Dugan|
|Notes:||Fig. 1.--Location of Beaver Island in relation to the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan (inset) and Miller's Marsh nesting areas: North Field, entrance to North French Bay Road, Entrance Area, Southwest Field and South Field
Fig. 2.--Examples of variability in annual nest placement for turtles that showed relatively strong nest-site fidelity (#82: 1994-1997; #89: 1994-2000), more widely dispersed nest locations (#98: 1994, 1996-1999; #420: 1995-1998) and no apparent nest-site fidelity (#24: 1994, 1995, 1998; #404: 1997, 1999)
Fig. 4.--Representative nesting movements of four Chrysemys picta at Miller's Marsh. Hatched polygons are aquatic home ranges, solid circles are nesting sites, open circles are nest-sites from previous years, and solid squares are refugia locations: a) relatively short-distance movements and direct paths taken to a nest-site that is close to its aquatic home range (#159, 7-8 June 1999), b) intermediate distance traveled to a nest-site that is relatively close to several nest locations from previous years and its aquatic home range (#179, 14-15 June 2000), c) relatively long-distance travel to a nest-site and dissimilar routes taken to and from the nest-site (#625, 15-16 June 2000) and d) nesting foray (route indicated by a dashed line; 3-4 June 1999) prior to a nesting excursion (5-6 June 1999) at a nest-site that is relatively far from its aquatic home range (#30)
We studied nest-site fidelity (1995-2000) and nest predation (1997-2000), and nesting movements (1999-2000) in a population of Chrysemys picta marginata at Miller's Marsh on Beaver Island, Michigan. On average, turtles nested farther (mean = 122.3 m) from the marsh than turtles in previously studied populations, possibly because of the relatively large nesting areas (n = 5) of our study. Nest predation was 17.4% over all years and was independent of nest location (distance from water, road vs. field nests, nesting field). Many turtles showed nest-site fidelity between years in that they favored one or two nesting areas and had annual inter-nest distances (ID) that were positively skewed and significantly less (mean = 88.7 m) than IDs of randomly paired nests of different individuals. Radiotelemetry indicated that most turtles emerged during the mid-afternoon and nested during the evening hours. Nesting excursion duration averaged 11.6 h and 75% remained on land overnight after nesting. The use of terrestrial refugia before and after the nesting process presumably reflected thermal limitations on movements. When compared to turtles that nested relatively close to the marsh, turtles that nested relatively far from the marsh initiated nesting movements earlier in the day, had circuitous routes to and from the nest site and had relatively long nesting excursion duration. The location of an aquatic home range apparently influenced nest-site selection and fidelity in some individuals although other individuals nested relatively far from the aquatic home range.