Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper




There have been many studies concerning wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) nest site selection, including studies that evaluate nest site conditions when stream sand banks are not available. However, because of the unique landscape at our study site (high gradient, first order streams) and rapidly diminishing wood turtle populations in Virginia, I am evaluating wood turtle nest site selection. Nine physiographic and vegetative characteristics from nest, positive, negative-one and negative-two control locations were evaluated using binomial generalized linear models and then best fit models were chosen using Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC). It was found that in lieu of typical stream sand banks, females are choosing nest locations based on ~30 degree slope, south/southeast aspect, open canopy, and low vegetative disturbance. These results mirrored previous site selection findings, and provide insight to the behavior of females in our site so that management and conservation techniques can be proposed that will be essential in preserving the future of wood turtles in our study site and Virginia.



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