National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

Florida Box Turtle Monitoring

Protocol

The SFCN Florida box turtle monitoring protocol is deferred due to insufficient funding.

Resource Briefs, Reports, and Data

There are currently no SFCN resource briefs, reports, or data concerning this monitoring topic.

Importance/Issues

The Florida Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina bauri, is a long-lived species that is currently on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Box Turtles are susceptible to habitat loss and fragmentation as well as mortality due to roadkill (cars, farm equipment, lawn-mowers), intense fires, dog and cat injury and predation, and other pressures such as collection as pets, egg predation, and pesticide concerns. They utilize a diverse selection of upland and seasonally-flooded habitats throughout the year and play a key ecological role, serving as both predators and prey, contributing to nutrient cycles and dispersing seeds for many native plants. At the species level, the eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina, has been categorized as “vulnerable” in 2011 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to “A wide variety of population data sets at different sites and over different periods indicate a widespread persistent and ongoing gradual decline of Terrapene carolina that probably exceeds 30% over three generations…” (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Whether such declines are also occurring in south Florida national parks is unclear.

Monitoring Objectives

What are the status and trends in the abundance and distribution of Florida Box Turtles?

Approach

Unfortunately this vital sign has been deferred due to insufficient funds and staff time.

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Last Updated: February 16, 2017 Contact Webmaster