That was the discovery made by University of Cincinnati Educator Associate Professor Denis Conover, of the Department of Biological Sciences in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, when he came upon a duck nest box in the wetlands of southern Ohio's Miami Whitewater Forest. The box had tipped over. Turtle corpses were strewn about the mud and mire surrounding the fallen nesting box. Several species of turtles had been trapped by the box, and not all of them made it out alive.
Conover’s concern for the turtles’ welfare led him and co-authors Wayne Wauligman and Karen Cody, a naturalist, to write “Tipped Over Duck Nest Box Traps Turtles in a Restored Wetland (Ohio),” to raise awareness about the problem of improperly maintained and monitored duck nest boxes. A slide presentation of the research will be displayed at the Kansas Herpetological Society’s (KHS) annual meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Nov. 4-6, 2011.
Ordinarily a good thing, duck nest boxes—a nesting box attached to a pole in the wetland ground—are often erected in wetlands to provide nest sites for cavity-nesting ducks such as wood ducks and hooded mergansers. In fact, duck nest boxes have been put up in many wetlands throughout the United States and Canada and have helped with increasing wood duck populations.
However, improper care of these boxes can have devastating effects on wetland turtles. Conover writes that “if a pole gets tipped over and the box gets into the water, these duck nest boxes can serve as death traps for turtles.”
In Conover’s case, the three species of trapped turtles—painted, snapping and box—are not endangered in Ohio. Still, other wetlands, such as the Beaver Creek Wetlands, Spring Valley Wildlife Area, and Cedar Bog, may harbor species like the spotted turtle which are much rarer. Such species may also be affected by overturned duck nest boxes.
Duck nest boxes are typically monitored and maintained during the winter or just before the breeding season, but Conover suggests that it “should probably be done more frequently.” Periodically checking on duck nest boxes throughout the year can help reduce the dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences overturned boxes can have on turtles.
“Our goal is to reduce suffering and death of turtles by warning land managers about the threat to turtles that downed duck nest boxes can pose.”
Conover recently finished an article titled, “Keystone Role of Beavers in a Restored Wetland (Ohio)," and has also published articles on control of Amur honeysuckle, deer management, woodland, wetland and prairie restoration, earlier flowering of wetland prairie plants associated with global warming, seed germination, plant/water relations, and ecological physiology of freshwater clams.
Over the years, Conover has conducted many botanical surveys for various park districts and conservation groups such as Oxbow, Inc. and the Bergamo Center at Mount Saint John Nature Preserve. He is currently doing a vascular plant survey at Campbell Lakes Preserve for the Hamilton County Park District.
Ryan Varney | Newswise Science News
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy