The Importance of Landscape Connectivity

Longleaf pine ecosystems have been reduced to less than 5% of their original extent — creating many of the conservation challenges that exist today in the southeastern United States.  Severe habitat loss also brings with it other associated conservation issues, which can further degrade remaining habitat and imperil wildlife populations. Habitat fragmentation or a loss […]

Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle

Georgia’s Giant Turtles

Alligator snapping turtles are the largest species of freshwater turtle in Georgia, reaching sizes of up to 200 pounds and carapace lengths in excess of 80 cm (over 30 inches).  Until recently, all alligator snapping turtles were classified as a single species: Macrochelys temminckii.  However, Thomas et al. (2014) split alligator snapping turtles into three […]

Following the thread: Searching for turtle nests

This spring we were posed with a challenging question.  How do you go about finding Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) nests when there is very little information available about where or when they are going to lay eggs?  Our first step towards answering this question was to capture female turtles and attach radio transmitters to their […]

Sex Determination in Reptiles

Embryonic sex determination (i.e., the mechanism that determines whether embryos develop into males or females) is a fundamental biological process that has significant implications in determining sex ratios in natural populations.  Many vertebrates, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and some reptiles exhibit genotypic sex determination (GSD), where males or females are produced based on the sex […]

Hiding in Plain Site: Southern Dusky Salamanders

Last year on a warm sticky day in June, we ventured into a large perennial seep at the base of a small sandhill.  There are similar seeps all over the southeast where groundwater trickles out onto the surface and forms small mucky swamps that are rarely more than a few inches deep.  Seeps provide important […]