We conducted a mark-recapture survey for aquatic turtles in Craighead Forest Lake in Jonesboro (Craighead County, Arkansas). From July 2, 2015 to October 14, 2015, we set six hoop nets, baited with fish parts, at specific shoreline locations around the lake. Traps were set twice a week and checked 12 hours after they were set. Carapace length, carapace width, plastron length, and plastron width were measured for each individual. Each turtle was identified to species and its sex was recorded. We also placed a notch in one or more of its marginal scutes to aid in future identification. Finally, a photo was taken of each individual’s carapace and plastron. A total of six species were captured with Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) being the most common. A single female Razor-backed Musk Turtle (Sternotherus carinatus) was found, which represented a new county record and the first documentation for this species above the 35°N parallel in Arkansas. The only recaptures were Red-eared Sliders. Using the Schnabel Index, we estimated there to be 171 Red-eared Sliders in Craighead Forest Lake. Our findings indicate a diverse chelonian community with a thriving Red-eared Slider population. Future studies should continue to examine the effect of urbanization on turtle population demographics.
Konvalina, J. D.; Thigpen, C. S.; and Trauth, S. E.
"Population Sampling of Chelonians in an Urban Lake in Jonesboro, Craighead County, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 70
, Article 23.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol70/iss1/23