Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Willson, J.D.

Committee Member/Reader

Douglas, Michael

Committee Member/Second Reader

Coridan, Robert

Committee Member/Third Reader

Chapman, Kate


Urbanization of landscapes, resulting in habitat degradation, loss, and fragmentation, is a significant contributor to the global decline of reptile biodiversity. Although translocation is a common management strategy for wildlife populations subject to urbanization, the efficacy of reptile translocation studies, including those of box turtles (Terrapene spp.), is highly variable. Hard-release translocation of box turtles has often proven ineffective due to homing attempts and rapid post-translocation movements. Some studies have presented soft-release as a possible method for mitigation of the negative effects of hard-release, yet those studies have also produced mixed results. Therefore, I radiotracked 18 translocated Terrapene carolina triunguis in an urbanizing area of Northwest Arkansas to determine whether long-term (> 1 year) holding at an off-site location prior to translocation could be an effective alternative to soft- and hard-release translocations. I found that turtles held long-term before a short-distance translocation moved significantly shorter distances each day post-release than hard-released turtles. Turtles held long-term also moved in nondirectional, random orientations, whereas hard-released turtles exhibited consistent directionality in movements back towards their initial capture (home) locations. These results suggest that long-term holding of box turtles prior to translocation could significantly reduce homing responses and wandering, thus increasing the efficacy of translocation efforts.


Terrapene carolina triunguis, urbanization, translocation, Northwest Arkansas

Available for download on Saturday, April 27, 2024