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¡SOBRE México!: Student Opportunities for Biological Research in Mexico

¡SOBRE México!

Jess's Research

Rhinoclemmys rubida, is a terrestrial turtle endemic to the tropical dry forest



How do turtles move through the forest?

How do turtles make decisions?

How has the turtles prefered habitat changed after Hurricane Patricia?


Methods (Sinuosity):

Attached a thread spool to the turtles shell.

Tie the thread to a branch at the turtles current location.

The next day measure each straight line, and note the angle at which the Turtle moved, in addition to the difficulty of the microhabitat in which the turtle moved.

Level 1: The majority of the microhabitat is composed of loose leaves
Level 4: The entire microhabitat is composed of wood debris

Tracking the turtles

I captured 6 turtles

  • 3 males
  • 3 females

I then tracked the turtles daily using radio telemetry.

I recorded their location with a GPS, their activity, type of microhabitat they were in, and the time.

Homerange of the turtles


What remains to be done is to compare the results of homerange sizes before Hurricane Patricia to see how much they have changed since the hurricane.

Turtles seem to make decisions based on what makes travel easier when they navigate the forest


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