Local and regional scale habitat selection by wood turtles (Glyptemys Insculpta) in Ontario
This study investigated the distribution of Wood Turtle populations at the regional scale and habitat selection by individuals at the local scale. The studies at both scales were guided by 'a priori' knowledge of the importance of thermoregulation, nesting, hibernation and foraging to Wood Turtles. At the regional scale, data were collected from eight stream reaches inhabited by Wood Turtles and 52 non-inhabited reaches. Models were fitted to the data using logistic regression and evaluated for fit, significance of parameter estimates, and predictive success. Results indicated that Wood Turtles are "stream specialists", occurring along stream reaches with available nesting sites, hibernacula, and diverse riparian habitats. At the local-scale, 260 radio-telemetry locations were obtained from 20 Wood Turtles, pre- and post-nesting; habitat characteristics were measured at these locations, and at 260 random locations, each associated with a turtle location. Models were fitted to the data using conditional logistic regression and evaluated for fit, significance of parameter estimates, and predictive success. Results indicated that Wood Turtles are "habitat specialists" pre- and post-nesting, selecting terrestrial habitats close to the water, with cover types favourable for thermoregulation, and characterised by fine substrates.