Nest-site selection among reintroduced Macrochelys temminckii


We evaluated nest-site selection in a reintroduced population of Macrochelys temminckii at two locations in southeastern Oklahoma by comparing mean values of variables characterizing microhabitat at nest-sites and random sites. We also analyzed the spatial distribution of nests using a computer randomization procedure. The spatial distribution of nests did not differ significantly from random. However, females nested in areas with significantly greater water depths 2 m from the shoreline and significantly less ground cover compared to random sites. Areas with little ground cover might indicate sites with thermal characteristics appropriate for incubation of eggs laid by M. temminckii, and greater water depth may provide cover for females prior to nesting. The discovery of nest-sites at the same location in consecutive years suggests that some female M. temminckii might return to the same place to nest repeatedly, but further study is required to confirm whether this species exhibits nest-site fidelity.



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Southwestern Naturalist