DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN POND TURTLE STUDIES IN SUISUN MARSH.
Melissa K. Riley; California Department of Fish and Wildlife; 2825 Cordelia Road, Suite 100, Fairfield, CA, 94534; (209) 628-0247; Melissa.Riley@wildlife.ca.gov;
The western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) (WPT) is the last remaining native freshwater turtle in California and is designated as a species of special concern due to population declines. In other parts of its range such as Washington, WPT are listed as endangered due to causes such as habitat loss and disease. In the Suisun Marsh, WPT are thought to be widespread based on observational data; however, there have been no formal studies of their population status or habitat requirements. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and UC Davis have partnered to study WPT in the Suisun Marsh. Current projects include a mark-recapture study on Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, as well as a telemetry study on the Hill Slough Wildlife Area where tidal restoration is planned. So far it appears that populations are large and healthy within Suisun Marsh. In additions, WPT are utilizing a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats within tidal and managed wetlands. Insights gained from these projects will aide managers in efforts to conserve WPT, especially in response to impending changes that may occur due to sea level rise and the conversion of managed wetlands to tidal.
Poster Session