Residential Development and Habitat Fragmentation Effects on Gopher Tortoise (Gophorus polyphemus) Population Densities

The Florida Geographer

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Field Value
 
Title Residential Development and Habitat Fragmentation Effects on Gopher Tortoise (Gophorus polyphemus) Population Densities
 
Creator Brady, Kelly; Stetson University
Abbott, J. Anthony; Stetson University
 
Subject

 
Description Gopher Tortoises (Gophorus polyphemus) rely on the same upland ecosystems as humans, which leads to competition for resources. Habitat loss and associated reduction of forage area is a principal concern for tortoise conservation. Using tortoise populations in Volusia County, Florida, we examined the impacts of habitat fragmentation and reductions in land permeability on burrow densities. Existing research on minimum fragment size is inconsistent, however findings suggest that disruption in landscape continuity negatively affects tortoise population viability. Our study area consisted of seventeen individual and variously sized fragments throughout Volusia County: eleven occupying private residential neighborhoods, and six occupying publicly owned lands. Burrow densities were found to positively correlate with increased land impermeability, suggesting that conservation efforts should not only consider tortoise numbers but also the usable land area available to them. 
 
Publisher The Florida Geographer
 
Contributor
 
Date 2015-03-31
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://journals.fcla.edu/flgeog/article/view/84429
 
Source The Florida Geographer; Vol 45 (2014): The Florida Geographer
0739-0041
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://journals.fcla.edu/flgeog/article/view/84429/81538
 

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