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Activity, Movement Patterns, and Home Range of the Yellow-Margined Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) in Northern Taiwan

Kuang-Yang Lue and Tien-Hsi Chen
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 590-600
DOI: 10.2307/1565575
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565575
Page Count: 11
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Activity, Movement Patterns, and Home Range of the Yellow-Margined Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) in Northern Taiwan
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Abstract

Estimates were made of the activity, movement patterns, habitat use, and home range size of adult yellow-margined box turtles (Cuora flavomarginata) in the Feitsui Reservoir Protected Area, northern Taiwan. Data collected from May 1996 to February 1998 by mark-recapture and radiotelemetry indicated that C. flavomarginata is exclusively terrestrial. The distribution of captures and relocations offered no evidence of aquatic habits. The activity and movement patterns varied seasonally and between sexes. From April to July, females were captured more frequently than males, suggesting that the activity of females was greater than that of males. By contrast, males were captured more frequently than females from August to October. Seasonal habitat preference also was observed for both sexes. Gravid females usually stayed near the border of evergreen forests during the nesting season of April to July (61.5%), and then moved back into the forest's interior (56.3%). Males tended to remain in the densely vegetated areas of evergreen forest throughout the year. Although the home range size varied greatly among individuals (0.07-6.39 ha), males tended to have larger home range sizes (3.53 ha) than females (0.53 ha). Activity of C. flavomarginata reduced dramatically after October. Most individuals selected areas with dense vegetation as overwintering sites, where they buried themselves under leaf litter or fallen logs, or used abandoned burrows of other animals as retreats.

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