Integrating telemetry with a predictive model to assess habitat preferences and juvenile survival in an endangered freshwater turtle

Micheli-Campbell, Mariana A., Campbell, Hamish A., Connell, Marilyn, Dwyer, Ross G. and Franklin, Craig E. (2013) Integrating telemetry with a predictive model to assess habitat preferences and juvenile survival in an endangered freshwater turtle. Freshwater Biology, 58 11: 2253-2263. doi:10.1111/fwb.12206


Author Micheli-Campbell, Mariana A.
Campbell, Hamish A.
Connell, Marilyn
Dwyer, Ross G.
Franklin, Craig E.
Title Integrating telemetry with a predictive model to assess habitat preferences and juvenile survival in an endangered freshwater turtle
Journal name Freshwater Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0046-5070
1365-2427
Publication date 2013-11-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/fwb.12206
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 58
Issue 11
Start page 2253
End page 2263
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The introduction of predators and habitat destruction is leading to a worldwide decline in freshwater turtles. Here, we assessed the preferred habitat and the predation rates for juveniles of the endangered Mary River turtle (Elusor macrurus). Juvenile turtles were fitted with miniaturised transmitters and located accurately over a 21-day period. Water depth and velocity were measured at each locality, and the data used to populate a predictive distribution model (ecological niche factor analysis - ENFA - with Mahalanobis distances). The model showed that the juvenile turtles preferred areas of shallow, slow-flowing water near riffles. Extrapolation of the model throughout the entire river trunk identified a further 49 discrete locations that possessed the environmental characteristics preferred by the juvenile turtles. A further 12 juveniles were released with long-life (9 months) acoustic transmitters, and static underwater receivers were deployed to continuously record the presence and absence of turtles. The passive telemetry results supported the ENFA model and also suggested a 50% predation rate of the juvenile turtles over 9 months. Half of the predated turtles were probably taken by fish, whilst the other half were taken by a bird or mammal predator (inferred by changes in the movement of the attached transmitters). Combining telemetry with a predictive distribution model showed where juvenile E. macrurus are likely to be found and the riverine features that require preservation to conserve the species.
Keyword Ecological niche factor analysis
Elusor macrurus
Habitat suitability
Passive acoustic
Telemetry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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