BS, Environmental Biology, Marist College
Past field experiences:
Monitored population of threatened species of turtle in Dutchess County, New York; monitored and developed baseline data for conservation properties in Berkshire County, MA.
Terrestrial and aquatic movement patterns of Blanding’s Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, and the implication for expanding buffer zones to include the surrounding landscape.
The Blanding’s Turtle is a northern freshwater, semi-aquatic species with a patchy distribution throughout its range. For my research, I will be monitoring terrestrial and aquatic movement of a known population of Blanding’s turtle and determine what patterns exist in order to understand the reasons for these movements (i.e. nesting, feeding, water level changes). There is limited information on the movements between and within wetlands for the Blanding’s turtle. It has been found that the turtles often travel outside the range of the standard buffer zone around the wetland. This study will show the extent to which the turtles will travel and potentially for what purposes and it will show the need for expanded buffer zones to include the whole wetland complex and corresponding upland habitats.