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

Massachusetts Project

Population viability modeling and conservation of Blanding=s turtles

March 2003 - June 2014


Participating Agencies

  • Competitive State Wildlife Grant Program FY 11
  • Massachusetts Environmental Trust
  • Science Support Partnership

We have integrated turtle movement data, habitat selection equations, road data, and other GIS layers to develop an individual-based spatially explicit model of the viability of Blanding's turtle populations in Massachusetts. Our model results have been used to revise the conservation plan we developed for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and we then applied them to the entire Northeast in a collaborative assessment of the status of Blanding’s turtles. This type of population viability analysis is novel for freshwater turtles and incorporates the role of spatial variability.