Recent studies suggest that freshwater turtle populations are becoming increasingly male-biased. A hypothesized cause is a greater vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. We evaluated this hypothesis by comparing sex ratios from published and unpublished population surveys of turtles conducted on- versus off-roads. Among 38 166 turtles from 157 studies reporting sex ratios, we found a consistently larger female fraction in samples from on-roads (61%) than off-roads (41%). We conclude that female turtles are indeed more likely to cross roadways than are males, which may explain recently reported skewed sex ratios near roadways and signify eventual population declines as females are differentially eliminated. ?? 2006 The Zoological Society of London.
Additional publication details
Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality