Eastern Box Turtle
High Elevation Study
A Relic Population Doomed To Extinction?
Winter 2014-2015 Hibernation
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2014 Hibernation Sites With very few exceptions there were few surprises in this years selections of hibernation sites.   Most turtles hibernated at locations close to the previous years sites, and several locations were exactly at previous years sites.

A major change from all previous years, turtle M14(M) did not return to his traditional Hib site from his very long travels this season.  And turtle M4(F) hibernated during her long range travels as she appeared to be returning, but likely did not have time to complete the trip.

This was the first season for several new and re-found turtles to be tracked into hibernation (M16, M27, M29, M30, M31, and M32).  Turtle M28 (juvenile) was lost during the season.  M20(M), a likely transient was also lost this season after collecting detailed tracking information the last 2 seasons.

Turtle M26 (M) was lost during hibernation, but after a logical search, was found in December, deep underground, radios still working.
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Area photo description here
Sick Turtle Photos
This chart is typical for many exposed hibernation sites this cold winter.  Soil temperatures only a few inches deep stayed at or above freezing for most or all the winter.
An inch or so depth can make several degrees difference in temperatures.  The iButton was on turtle M19's carapace hiberating in a stump hole with a thick cover of leaves. The soil logger was only 12 inches away, but a bit shallower.
Totally unexplained, turtle M3 appearently had a cold winter.  This site was well sheltered and well drained in rich soil near the bottom of a south facing slope.  No other monitored site experienced soil temperatures this low for this long period of time this winter.
Hibernation soil, air, and iButton temperature data and charts in Excel format for 20 sites available here
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