Population Characteristics of the Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle (Rhinoclemmys rubida perixantha) Along the Pacific Coast of Mexico

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Biological Sciences

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The natural history and population ecology of the Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle (Rhinoclemmys rubida perixantha) is poorly known. The Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle inhabits the tropical deciduous forest along the western coast of Central Mexico. From 2012 to 2017, we conducted a capture-mark-recapture study on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico to estimate basic population characteristics of the Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle such as abundance, density, size structure, and sex ratio. We captured 234 turtles during seven sampling events. Estimated population size was 1,051 turtles and estimated density was 43 individuals/ha within the 24.6 ha surveyed. Sex ratio was slightly skewed toward males (1.2:1) but not significantly, and the population was structured, comprised mostly of adults. Females were significantly larger in carapace length, plastron length, carapace width, and heavier than the males. The population seems healthy, and because we captured some hatchlings during the study, we think the population has recruitment. Even with several years of sampling, the recapture rate was low, which means more fieldwork is needed to better understand the population dynamics of the Mexican Spotted Wood Turtle.


This article was originally published Open Access in Herpetological Conservation and Biology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Herpetological Conservation and Biology


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