Document Type

Honors Thesis


The knowledge of the composition of freshwater turtle communities is important to understand the impacts of human-induced changes that are seen in their habitats. In this study conducted, we recorded information based on the population by using routine methods to capture, tag, and release individuals. We studied the population found in a lake in South Arlington known as French Lake. In the process we recorded information such as sex, weight, and shell length. In this particular population we focused our analysis on the red eared slider population, which showed a clear dominance. We aimed to investigate physiological parameters that allow them to outcompete the other freshwater turtles. We found the population size of sliders estimated to be approximately 200, in comparison with the entire population size of 233. Red-eared sliders showed a 59% survivability, in stark contrast to their counterparts, which showed a 14% survivability. This is attributed to the red-eared sliders' performative advantage through aggressive interactions, early sexual maturity, high fertility, and various other characteristics. Understanding the aspects that contribute to red-eared sliders outcompeting native species will allow us to better help the negatively impacted species that are endangered by sliders.

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