Mass mortality of Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica)

Jordan Catrysse, Emily Slavik, Jonathan Choquette, Ashley E. Leifso, Christina M. Davy


We report a mass mortality of Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica [LeSueur, 1817]) on the north shore of Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada. Thirty-five dead adult females were recovered from a nesting area over a period of four weeks. Predation and boat strikes were both excluded as potential cause of death, but the actual cause could not be determined because of the poor condition of the carcasses. Other possible explanations for the mortality include poisoning, drowning, and infection with an unidentified pathogen. Mass mortality in long-lived species, such as turtles, can have long-term effects on population growth and is a cause for concern in a species at risk.


Northern Map Turtle; Graptemys geographica; mass mortality; Lake Erie; Ontario; Canada

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