Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Biology (Integrative Biology)

Major Professor

Earl McCoy, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Henry Mushinsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Lewis, Ph.D.


Florida Sand Skink, home range, overlap, orientation analysis, movement patterns


Home range and home range overlap information are crucial to create management plans for species of conservation concern. It provides information as to how much land a viable population needs to survive. The South Florida Multi-Species Recovery Plan highlights the need for home range and movement information for Plestiodon reynoldsi (Florida Sand Skink), a threatened lizard species precinctive to Florida Scrub habitat. We investigated home range sizes, their relationship with SVL and mass, home range overlap, homing behavior, and movement patterns of the Florida Sand Skink (FSS) and over a three-year period in the Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge. The average home range, using minimum convex polygon, was 219 square meters. SVL had no relationship to home range size. Mass had a weak negative effect on home range size, but it is questionable if this relationship is biologically significant. Home range overlap was prevalent in the species and ranged from 0-100% overlap. The Rayleigh test, used to test for orientation upon release, showed no homing behavior in the FSS. The longest movement was 144 meters, but the average natural movement was 12.1 meters. This study shows that even small parcels of scrub habitat can support viable populations of the FSS, because of its extensive home range overlap and small home range size.

Included in

Biology Commons