The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
Authors: Macip-Ríos, Rodrigo; Brauer-Robleda, Pablo; Zúñiga-Vega, J. Jaime & Casas-Andreu, Gustavo
Abstract: Basic demographic information for turtles in tropical and sub-tropical regions is still scarce. As a consequence, prospective management and conservation plans for these long-lived vertebrates lack the necessary quantitative background for successful implementation. In this study, we used capture–mark–recapture techniques in two populations of the Mexican mud turtle (Kinosternon integrum) located at different elevations in central Mexico. We estimated stage-specific survival, growth, and fecundity rates and constructed a population projection matrix for each population. In the low-elevation population, the finite rate of population growth (λ) was not significantly different from unity, indicating demographic stability. In the high-elevation population, λ was significantly lower than unity, indicating population decline. Survival of adults was the vital rate that contributed most to population persistence in both populations. We discuss our results in the context of demographic patterns of turtle species, emphasizing the differences between the two populations studied and potential conservation implications.
Keywords: CAPTURE-MARK-RECAPTURE, POPULATION DYNAMICS, FRESHWATER TURTLES, POPULATION PROJECTION MATRICES, ELASTICITY ANALYSIS, MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD ESTIMATION