Impact of Humans and High Traffic Density on Freshwater Turtle Populations of Coastal South Carolina

Event Location: 
BCCMWS Room 100
Event Date: 
Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 
SCMSS Seminar Series

Presenter: Andre Dominguez

Recent studies have shown that humans, and their ability to alter landscapes can cause detrimental effects on freshwater turtle populations. Turtle populations, due to their life histories, are reliant on their sexually mature individuals to reproduce; so significant pressures on these individuals can cause larger population and even community changes. Human activities such as development and driving have been found to be heavy pressures on freshwater turtle populations elsewhere, causing drastic changes in population dynamics therein. To examine this issue on the coastal region of South Carolina a total of 10 ponds were used (5 un-impacted and 5 impacted). Using a comparative approach we quantified differences in turtle populations found in ponds of varied road/traffic density. A common freshwater found in the study area, the Yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta n=269) was used for comparative analysis. Differences were found between the population stocks of the two categorized wetland types in the study (impacted and unimpacted) and between populations of other freshwater turtle assemblages found in others’ study areas.