Comparison of diet among reintroduced and wild juvenile alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) and adult female ouachita map turtles (Graptemys ouachitensis)


Reintroductions are increasingly utilized in conservation, but the experiences and environments to which animals are exposed prior to release can significantly impact the success of such efforts. We investigated differences in the diet of reintroduced juvenile alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) relative to juveniles from a wild population. In addition, we compared the diet of adult female Ouachita map turtles (Graptemys ouachitensis) to reintroduced M. temminckii with whom co-occurrence was recently reestablished and wild juvenile M. temminckii in a river system where the species have enjoyed long-term sympatry. There were differences in diversity and richness of the diet of M. temminckii at the two study sites that could be due to dissimilarity in foraging experience. There was greater overlap in diet of M. temminckii and G. ouachitensis at the site of reintroduction than at the site of long-term sympatry that corresponded to variation in composition of diet. Such a difference could indicate that partitioning of food resources has not taken place at the site of reintroduction to the degree that it has at the site with long-term sympatry.



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Southwestern Naturalist