Population Distribution and Range Limits in Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingi)
Mentor: Dr. Tom Langen
A fundamental information need for conserving a rare or threatened species is to understand what limits its distribution – what are the climatic, habitat, and human influences that determine where populations of a species occur or are absent. The Blanding’s turtle is a species that is considered to be globally threatened – it is listed as threatened or endangered in every state or province in which it occurs. It is a species with a distribution which includes many small, isolated populations. Northeastern New York is the range limit for one population. For this project, and REU student will investigate one factor that is hypothesized to influence the local and region distribution limits of Blanding’s turtle. The research will include field work and analysis of existing data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The products of this research will be used to help develop a habitat occupancy model that will serve as a tool for conservation of this turtle species.