Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: West Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

West Virginia Project

Enhancing the Conservation Potential of the Wood Turtle

October 2019 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • West Virginia University

Wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) are considered a species of conservation need across their range. This study will quantify and compare wood turtle abundances, adult survival rates, and movement patterns across a forest fragmentation gradient in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) in northwestern Pennsylvania. Additionally, natural resource agencies have a need for spatially explicit predictions of Wood Turtle occurrence probability to assist in planning for species monitoring efforts, habitat restorations, and permitting. This project will create a species distribution model (SDM) to predict wood turtle occurrence for Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. The goal of this research is to benefit wildlife managers who aim to promote robust wood turtle populations through active habitat management, inform species regulations and guidelines, and assist the USFWS with their federal listing decision.