If you've been following along, you have probably read about our fairly new research project on Eastern Box Turtles. Over the last two years, EcoLab staff and students have been able to find and collect data on 10 box turtles, and “Arthur” (pictured right and below) is our first radio tagged participant in our research study on their use of urban environments.
This study, begun by Dr. Kim Vogt, Dr. Joyce Horton, and Stephanie Schuck, is meant to find answers to questions such as: What is the main habitat of box turtles in an urban environment? Are they just using the EcoLab or are they moving into the neighborhoods nearby? How many are present? Are they breeding? The study is being partially carried out by Dr. David Benson’s BIO 202 course. Arthur was discovered early this fall, measured, weighed, and had a radio transmitter affixed to his shell. This October, students in the BIO 202 course used radio telemetry to ascertain the location and habitat of the turtle. The first time he was found in the middle of a swamp, buried in the muddy water with just his nose sticking up. With proper guidance, we will continue to give students the opportunity to participate in this research project each semester as the number of radio-tagged turtles increases.