Home Range and Habitat Selection of  the Endangered Euphrates Softshell Turtle Rafetus euphraticus (Daudin, 1802) in a Fragmented  Habitat in Southwestern Iran


Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 2014, 13(2): 202–215



We present information on movement patterns and habitat selection of the endangered Euphrates softshell turtle Rafetus euphraticus (Daudin 1802) from Karkheh Regulating Dam Lake in southwestern Iran. Twelve adult turtles were trapped, fitted with radio-tracking transmitters, and relocated 21 to 51 times between May 2011 and July 2012. The mean linear range size was 2.54 ± 0.83 km, the mean river channel area was 55.35 ± 17.98 ha,the mean minimum convex polygon (MCP) size was 47.49 ± 23.36 ha, and the mean 95% kernel density estimator (KDE 95%) measured 21.75 ± 9.44 ha with a core area (KDE 50%) of 5.74 ± 2.87 ha. Range overlap was generally high; on average, individual MCPs overlapped with those of 7.5 other turtles, individual KDEs with those of 7.3 other turtles, and core areas with those of 5.5 other turtles. Selection of habitat types was not proportional to availability. Study animals preferred shallow-water edge habitats covered with Phragmites australis over all other habitat types

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