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dc.contributor.authorWright, Alexander David
dc.description.abstractHabitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation have led to an estimated 80% range-wide decline of gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) populations across the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Recently, the gopher tortoise was identified as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act in the eastern part of its range. To support an adaptive landscape planning and decision framework for gopher tortoise conservation, I examined the population dynamics and movement patterns of four gopher tortoise populations on a large private reserve in southwestern Georgia, where tortoises were previously marked/recaptured from 1995-2000. It is critical to understand how tortoise populations vary in space and time at large spatial and temporal scales to protect a long-lived species, such as the gopher tortoise, into perpetuity. With further understanding of the long-term population ecology and movement patterns, we can better evaluate the roles of emigration and survival within populations to inform reserve design and decision analysis for the species’ conservation.
dc.rightsOn Campus Only Until 2018-05-01
dc.subjectgopher tortoise
dc.subjectGopherus polyphemus
dc.subjectpopulation dynamics
dc.titleLong-term population ecology and movement patterns of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southwest Georgia
dc.description.departmentDaniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
dc.description.majorForest Resources
dc.description.advisorJeffrey A. Hepinstall
dc.description.committeeJeffrey A. Hepinstall
dc.description.committeeLora L Smith
dc.description.committeeClinton T. Moore

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