Natural History and Basking Habits of Western Pond Turtles

This research represents the preliminary results of a longer term project in Sequoia National Park, California. I used temperature dataloggers to investigate western pond turtle behavior to better understand their natural history and thus inform monitoring protocol and conservation. These data suggest that snorkel surveys used to monitor turtle populations may be more effective if conducted at night. In addition, these data indicate the potential for intraspecific niche partitioning among turtles according to age. These early results hint at unique turtle behavior that is otherwise difficult to observe for a cryptic species and thereby warrant further investigation.