Isabell Kuhn

Bachelor student

Feeding behavior of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis): Potential predator-prey relationships in wetlands of the Upper Rhine

The aim of the project is to identify the ecological impact of Emys orbicularis on the functioning of the ecosystem and its potential as a biological control. In the course of monitoring E. orbicularis in the wetland of Neuburg am Rhein, food selection experiments are carried out with calico crayfish (Faxonius immunis) of different sizes, sexes and developmental stages. In addition, faeces samples of E. orbicularis are collected and analysed for DNA of F. immunis. Together with the experimental approach, the faeces samples provide information on whether E. orbicularis basically eats F. immunis and whether it prefers a certain size or sex. In addition, potential predators of E. orbicularis are detected with the help of wildlife cameras to calculate the predation pressure on the population. This provides information on the long-term success of the European pond turtle population.