The 90 day period of March, April, and May had high temperatures, record precipitation, intermixed with several 24 to 30 degree nights, affecting wildlflower and fruit tree pollination.
In March, April, May and half of June it rained nearly every day, and most study turtles moved little until warmer and drier weather arrived in mid-June. Road crossings which normally start the first of June, were delayed until mid and late June. Raspberries, a staple for some members of this population, ripened much later than normal.
Tracking activites for July were reduced as the month was the warmest July on record with 30 days of regional heat wave temperatures and humidity. Consequntly, some of the tracking this season was done using thread trailing and drop-tags, both giving accurate travel locations, but not travel dates, matings, feeding, and other field observations.
There were 17 road crossings this season by 8 study turtles with no road mortaility. One turtle ( female M4), the largest and probably oldest female, was killed this season by small mammals, and two turtles (M64 and M65) were found new.
This was the year of Covin-19. There was little effect on Box turtles and other wildlife, except for the reduced vehicle traffic during critical road crossing months, and less road mortality as a result. There was no Box turtle road mortality this season at this study site.
This was also the year of record hurricanes, record wildfires, and extremes of temperature and precipitation. The record number of back-to-back heat waves reduced the amount of turtle tracking during the summer months
M64, Male This 382 gram, old adult turtle was found on 5/17/20 mating with M63, who was found in the 2019 season, and who traveled a long distance to the west this year.
M65, Male This 395 gram, old adult turtle was found on 5/26/20, on top of the ridge, only a few feet from turtle M49.
Turtle M4 (female) was found dead 9/4/20 in the woods after being attacked by a small mammal. M4 was originally found in 2009 in the power line ROW which turned out to be her primary activity area. M4 was the largest female resident of this study area, and probably one of the oldest. 0.9 GPS miles tracked this season.
M64(M), was found new early this season mating with M63(F), who emerged from hibernation 15 days earlier, and was found new nearby last season. He stayed within a releatively small primary activity area for the season, nearly all of which is clear woods, only occassionally crossing into a meadow, and crossing the road and the crossing back mid-season. There are no physical barriers restrictin M64's travel outside of the relatively small activity area. 2.3 GPS miles tracked this season.
M65(M), was found new early this season, next to M49(F), who just emerged from hibernation on top of the ridge. He stayed in this same sunny, exposed area nearly the entire summer, but crossed the ridge in late fall to hibernate on the north side in sheltered woods.
M65 was found dead in 2021 as a result of a small mammal attack.
Turtle M3(male) stayed well within his normal activity area the entire summer. He did not cross the road, and was observed mating a number of times with M24 and other females this season. 2.2 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M6 (female) crossed the road into the meadow, as usual, and after nesting, returned to the same place she hibernates every year. 1.4 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M10 (male) travels within a relatively small primary activity area, and stayed mostly within this area this season. M10 visited the Tank Road meeting area much less this season since the death of M9(F) and M8(M). 1.2 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M11 (female) a meadow resident, spent most of this season in the woods. She traveled to the same wooded locations as in the past, but also traveled to the top of the high ridge, never observed before. She never crossed the road. She hibernated near the road only a few feet from her previous hibernation locations, as usual. 1.2 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M12 (male) spent much of this season on the north facing slope of the drainage, but returned to the south slope before hibernation. 0.5 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M13 (Male) again spent most of the season on top of a high ridge as he has done the past few seasons, but took one long forray in mid-August off the ridge and crossed the road to an area he has not been seen to have traveled before. In mid-September, M13 quickly traveled back to the ridgetop, where he was found meeting with turtle M58, and soon hibernated very close to his 2019 location. 2.1 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M18 (male) is primarily a meadow resident, but usually hibernates in the woods. This season he stayed in the lower meadow much of the season and chose an exposed hibernation site in the meadow under a small stand of trees. 1.1 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M24 (female) made 2 successful road crossings this season into the meadow to nest; a normal summer travel behavior for this turtle. After returning to her relatively small primary activity area, she mated with M3(M) several times and hibernated about 2 feet from her 2019 location. 1.3 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M27 (male) spent most of this season near the top of the ridge close to the power line ROW, and within the dense, unmowed grass of the ROW. He hibernated close to the site where he emerged, and where he hibernates nearly every season. With the death of several adult (M15, M19 and M51) Edsel Hollow resident males the past 2 years, M27 is the only male left, except those that travel here from other areas, and then return. 2.0 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M29 (male) usually a meadow resident, spent much of this season in the woods, and was tracked less this season. He hibernated in the woods near the meadow. 1.3 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M32 (male) was tracked less this season than in the past, so it's not known if he mainly traveled the same activity area he traveled in previous years. 0.5 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M38 (female) 1.6 GPS miles tracked this season. With the recent deaths of M15(m), M19(m), and M51(m), all killed on roads, M38 has few if any permanent male co-residents. Possibly this is why she was found traveling across the ridge, and down to the bottom of the adjacent drainage at least twice this season. But she crosse back over the ridge, and hibernated at the edge of the ROW.
Turtle M41 (female) has been a primary resident of the north face since first found, but in the 2019 season, crossed over the ridge-top into the hollow where she spent most of that summer season and hibernated. This season she remained in the hollow much of the summer, but crossed back over the ridge into a familiar area in late summer and stayed on the north side of the ridge where she hibernated. 1.3 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M42 (female) is primarily a resident of the sheltered cove and south slope where she hibernates, but travels to the meadow, crossing and re-crossing the road during some summer seasons to nest. 1.4 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M43 (female) hibernated in the woods close to the Cabin Meeting Area in 2018 and traveled over the ridge top at emergence to her primary activity area where she spent most of the 2019 summer season. Oddly, during this summer, M43 traveled back to within a few feet of her 2018 hibernation spot once again and retuned only 2 days later. 1.3 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M46 (male) appears to have spent nearly this entire summer season on the lower slope near the protected cove where he has been found before. But this area is an arduous hike from any access point, so he was not tracked often this season, but his radio could be heard in this area from adjacent ridges.
Turtle M48 (male) Primarily a ridge-top resident, he remained there for the entire season, and hibernated within a few feet of his previous hibernation sites. Turtle M48 is rarely observed mating or meeting, but covers a large area of the ridgetop during the summer. 1.7 GPS miles tracked this season.
Turtle M49 (female) Another large female, M49 was originally found in 2017, but lost 2 days later. She has spent most of her travels since then in the hollow across the ridge, and has hibernated on the very top of the ridge for 3 seasons. 1.5 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M50 (female) hibernated last winter on the south facing slope in the hollow in the clearcut. She was originally found crossing the road into the meadow 3 years ago, and has traveled a number of very long annual routes since. M50 is a possible transient, unusual for a female. M50 climbed to the top of the ridge above the clearcut, and was tracked to the other side of a very large, broad drainage where she hibernated under some steep cliffs.
Turtle M53 (female), a large and colorful adult, spends nearly all of her time on the very top of the ridge in the woods, only observed in the meadow, close to M42(F), M11(F). another large female. 1.2 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M54 (male) was found new in the meadow in 2017 mating with M50. It's not yet known if he is a transient, but seems to be staying in the same drainages. In 4 seasons he has been tracked 6.7 GPS miles, over a very large area. 1.7 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M57 (female) was found new in 2018 at the edge of the power line ROW. She has been found mating with M27 several times, but not yet observed nesting.
In June 2020, M57 suddenly began a very long distance forray off of the ridge, following the edge of the creek to a non-descript location 0.7 miles distant, and after about a month, returned to the ridge and ROW where she started. She hibernated only about 11 feet from her 2019 location, and moved about 25 feet in December to a new shallow stump hole. 2.0 GPS miles tracked this season
Turtle M58 (male) was tracked out of hibernation on top of the ridge, but was lost, refound, re-tagged, and lost again in early summer in the meadow. In mid-september, M58 was found close to M13 who had quickly returned from a long forray across the highway. M58 was re-tagged before hbernation.
Turtle M63 (female) M63 was found new last season in my driveway near the public road, and spent the 2019 season nearby and hibernated in the woods. (green line) Soon after emergence in the 2020 season, she was found mating with M64, a new find, and soon crossed 2 roads and traveled away from the area into Edsel Hollow (yellow line). M63 left the hollow in late summer, crossing over the ridge top and downslope to the bottom, where she hibernated near the creek.
Turtle M1(female) was tracked less this season than in the past. She stayed in the western part of the south facing slope which was too far to track very often during this summer's heat waves. She did not cross the road this season, but climbed up-slope to the power line ROW where she was often seen in past years mating with turtle M16(m) , now dead. 0.9 GPS miles tracked this season
Newly found turtles in 2020
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Green Dot = Emergence, Red Dot = Hibernation, Blue Dot = NEW FIND, White Dot = Dead
M62 All Years
M62 (Male),400 grams, was found 10/7/18 and spent 2 seasons in and close to the meadow, where he hibernated 2 years. After emergence in 2020 M62 crossed the road in June and was lost as he lost a transmitter and traveled out of radio range. He was re-found in Mid-April, 2021 still in hibernation, where he had traveled after being lost. M62 re-tagged for tracking in 2021.