Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in northwestern Mexico, ranging into extreme southwestern United States of America. It ranges from central and northern Sonora, northwest to southern Arizona (Smith and Smith 1979, Berry and Berry 1984, Iverson 1992, Serb et al. 2001). Its elevational range is 100 to 1,100m a.s.l. (Iverson 1989, Ernst et al. 1994, Smith and Smith 1979: 181).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and adjacent Mexico (Serb et al. 2001).

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Continent: Middle-America North-America
Distribution: USA (S Arizona),  Mexico (Sonora)
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 16 cm

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
K. arizonense resides in temporary preseas, ponds, tanks and roadside ditches, as well as in some permanent lentic waters. Arizona Mud Turtles seem to avoid permanent streams and rivers (Iverson 1989).

An activity period during the rains from early July to middle August was reported for the Sonora desert (Iverson 1989); in adverse years, aestivation grades into hibernation without an activity period at all (Schilde 2001). The animals are active mainly during daylight hours, basking when air temperatures approach 45ºC, and can undertake substantial travels on the desert floor (Iverson 1989).
The species is primarily a carnivorous feeder.

Females appear to reach maturity at a body size of 12 to 13 cm and 6 to 10 years of age (Iverson 1989). Mating occurs in July, and nesting occurs in July and early August; clutches comprise on average 4.7 eggs (range 1 to 9), and females typically lay two or three clutches. Hatching probably takes place in the next year's rainy season, with an incubation period of about 11 months (Iverson 1989).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Comments: Inhabits various quiet or slow-flowing bodies of water, usually with soft mud or sand bottom, in areas of desert. Often in temporary water, may travel overland.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Diet is mainly invertebrates (Iverson 1989).

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General Ecology

Population density can be high; in Sonora in a 0.15 ha pond, 25 adults were caught with 4 traps in 45 min (Iverson 1989).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Activity is stimulated by summer rains; may remain inactive underground if ponds fail to form due to lack of rain or runoff (Iverson 1989).

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Reproduction

Two or three (typically 2) clutches of 2-7 eggs are laid from July to mid-August in the Southwest (Iverson 1989). Eggs hatch perhaps after 10+ months at beginning of next rainy season in Southwest (Iverson 1989). Females become sexually mature in about 6-10 years in the Southwest (Iverson 1989).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Kinosternon arizonense

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Frost, D., Hammerson, G. & Gadsden, H.

Reviewer/s
Iverson, J.B. & Rhodin, A.G.J. (Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Small range in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and adjacent Mexico.

Other Considerations: This species lives fairly long, but has a low annual reproductive output (Ernst and Barbour 1989).

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Population

Population
It can occur locally at very high densities: 45 minutes of trapping in one 0.15 ha pond gathered 25 adult animals (translating to a biomass of 58 kg/ha), and additional trapping would probably have caught more turtles (Iverson 1989). It is locally extremely common, particularly between 200 and 800 m altitude, and human construction of ponds is considered to benefit populations of K. arizonense (Iverson 1989, and in litt. 28 Jan 2007).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
The rarity of the species in scientific collections, combined with ongoing extensive modification of the Sonoran desert for ranching, agriculture and flood control, was in the past believed to indicate that the species may be threatened. As a species inhabiting wetlands in an arid region, it is susceptible to climatic impacts and habitat degradation; while adult animals may well be able to survive long periods of adverse conditions, recruitment might only occur in optimal years and as such would be extensively impacted even by minor changes. It is probably locally impacted by road kills.

However, studies have shown the species to be extremely abundant in suitable habitat throughout a wide area, and the species apparently benefits from pond construction by humans (Iverson 1989). Hence overall it is not considered significantly at risk.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Turtles in general are protected from exploitation under Mexican wildlife and natural resource legislation; implementation is uneven and in places better enforcement is probably needed. As an aquatic or semiaquatic species occurring in an extremely austere climatic zone, its persistence can only be considered tenuous. Full protection from all depredation except scientific study should be provided, and sanctuaries should be established where habitat destruction can be prevented (Smith and Smith 1979: 182).

It occurs in Organ Pipe Natural Monument (IUCN Cat.III, 134 sq. km.) in Arizona, and perhaps in El Pinacante y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve in Sonora, and in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (Cat.IV, 3480 sq. km) in Arizona, which are located within the range of the species.

The species apparently benefits from humans constructing ponds within its range.
Status surveys and conservation assessments of this species are needed.
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Wikipedia

Arizona mud turtle

Description

The Arizona Mud Turtle (Kinosternon arizonense) is species of mud turtle in the Kinosternidae family. The turtle’s body vary in colour. The carapace (upper portion of the shell) tends to be brown, olive or a yellow- brown in colour.[2] The marginal shields, which can be described as the rim around the shell is yellow.[2] In addition, the lower portion of the shell also known as the plastron is yellow as well.[2] The top of the head is grey in colour and the sides are cream.[2] One thing that separates them from other species of turtles is that the first and second marginal shield do not connect.[2]

Habitat and Behaviour

The Arizona Mud Turtle can be located in the Lower Colorado River Lower Colorado River Sonoran Desertscrub,Arizona Upland Sonoran Desertscrub, and Semidesert Grassland communities.[2] The Arizona Mud Turtle’s activity occurs during the day.[2] It also is active at night but specifically in July and August in monsoon season. Due to the fact that it is warm during this period, they tend to spend most of their time in the water, hence why they are known as semi aquatic.[2] During the winter months, they hibernate in an underground burrow.[2] Their diet consists of toads, tadpoles, fish, intervertabrates and carrion.[2] The Arizona Mud Turtle lays one to seven eggs and mates primarily in the summer.[3] Female turtles tend to grow between 12 to 13 cm and have life span from 6 to 10 years age.[3] During mating season females tend to lay between 1 to 7 eggs.[3]

Major Threats

The species is considered threatened, due to the fact that there has been ranching, agriculture and flood control taking place in the Sonoran Dessert.[3] Establishing themselves in wetlands, also exposes them to climate and habitat degradation.[3] An adult Arizona Mud Turtle usually will survive these conditions, however, could be impacted. Road mortality is also likely to affect this species.[3] On the positive side, the Arizona mud turtle adapts and benefits from pond reconstruction performed by humans.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 251. ISSN 18640-5755. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Brennan, Thomas. "ARIZONA MUD TURTLE Kinosternon arizonense". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Frost, D., Hammerson, G. & Gadsden, H. "Arizona Mud Turtle". Retrieved 13 August 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

  1. Gilmore (1923). "A new fossil turtle, Kinosternon arizonense, from Arizona". Proceedings of the United States National Museum 62: 1–8. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.62-2451.1. 


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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Formerly included as a subspecies of Kinosternon flavescens.Serb et al. (2001) examined K. flavescens phylogeny based on mtDNA data and identified three three distinct clades that they ranked as species: (1) K. flavescens of the Central Plains, including isolated populations of Illinois and Iowa, (2) K. arizonense in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico, and (3) K. durangoense in the Chihuahuan Desert of Durango, Coahuila, and Chihuahua, Mexico.

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