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