The wood turtle, Glyptemys insculpta, is listed as threatened federally in Canada and provincially in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Historic surveying for G. insculpta in these provinces has been arbitrary and geographic knowledge gaps persist. To address these gaps, Thomas developed species distribution models for NS and NB using Maxent software, G. insculpta occurrence data, and environmental data relevant to the species’ ecology.
These models indicated that important environmental variables for predicting G. insculpta distribution included ‘Elevation’, ‘Distance to Alder’, and ‘Watercourse Density’, among others. The model outputs were applied to field-survey planning in 2021 and 2022, resulting in new G. insculpta occurrences at twelve sites across NS and NB.
|projectName||Species Distribution Model Development for Wood Turtle in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick|
|projectPartners||Dalhousie University, NS DNRR, NB DNRED, NCC, CARP, MTRI|
|projectDescription||SDM for wood turtle in NS and NB, and targeted survey effort|
|productDescription||250m rasters predicting relative probabilities of occurrence of wood turtle across NS and NB|
|dataUseRestrictions||to be determined, output sharing with reputable organizations likely possible but dependent upon data sharing agreements with relevant provincial departments (NS DNRR and NB DNRED)|
Photo by Thomas Baker.