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

Massachusetts Project


At-risk species project

July 2021 - June 2023


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • USFWS, Science Applications

Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) are listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act as a species of special concern. This species occurs in Pine Barren habitats, where many other species are listed as species of special concern at the state and federal levels. We are currently developing a research study to assess the population dynamics of the eastern box turtle at Joint Base Cape Cod. We aim to explore the effects of either prescribed fire management or a parasitic fly larva on box turtle home range, survival, dispersal, and habitat selection. We will collect radio telemetry data during the summer of 2022, and we will monitor their behavior and/or distribution in comparison to records kept prior to prescribed fire implementation and parasitic larval infestation. The results of this study will be used to inform the upcoming federal listing decisions of species that inhabit Pine barrens habitats by the USFWS.