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Attributes of basking sites of the European pond turtle ( Emys orbicularis) in central Italy

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Attributes of basking sites are important elements to study in management plans of threatened freshwater turtles. Here, we analyzed the basking-site characteristics of European pond turtle ( Emys orbicularis) populations in a Mediterranean territory of central Italy (Tolfa Mountains, Latium). We used logistic regression and Principal Components Analysis to characterize 29 presence sites versus 61 random sites, through 16 descriptive variables recorded within a 5 m radius from the sighting/target spot. Our analyses revealed that some variables (i.e. water turbidity, presence of small coves, submerged vegetation, and emergent tree-trunks) were those that influenced most strongly the presence of turtles on potential basking sites. Maintenance of deadwood in water and preservation of submerged aquatic vegetation should be included in the management planning for this turtle species in central Italy.

Affiliations: 1: 1Dipartimento di Scienze, Università Roma Tre, viale Marconi 446, 00146 Rome, Italy; 2: 2Eni Spa (Nigerian Agip Oil Company) Environmental Department, and Centro di Studi Ambientali Demetra, Rome, Italy


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