Road density and wetland context alter population structure of a freshwater turtle
Andrew J Hamer, Lee J Harrison, Danielle Stokeld
Austral Ecology | WILEY | Published : 2016
Roads are detrimental to wildlife populations that require contiguous networks of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Many species of freshwater turtles are sensitive to habitat fragmentation caused by roads, and are susceptible to road mortality during overland migrations. The common long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) is an Australian freshwater turtle that frequently moves between wetlands, and so populations may incur negative impacts from road effects. Here, we assessed the relationship between C. longicollis and road density and landscape variables within populations inhabiting 20 wetlands distributed throughout greater Melbourne, Australia. The size frequency distribution of C. l..View full abstract
We thank the many citizen scientists who contributed their time as field assistants during this study. Financial and logistic support was provided by the Earthwatch Institute; in particular, we thank Cassandra Nichols and Chris Gillies. Geoff Heard kindly provided OpenBUGS code for the recapture modelling. The research was supported by a grant from the William Buckland Foundation and The Baker Foundation provided generous support. We thank the land managers who facilitated our access to wetland sites, particularly Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and local council staff. This study was approved by the University of Melbourne Animal Ethics Committee (register no. 0811058 and 1212608). Fieldwork was conducted under research permit no. 10005308 and 10006610 issued by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.