The Box Turtle Connection
Since 2009, Piedmont Wildlife Center has been taking part in a study focused on the Eastern Box Turtle. This treasured native species is in need of special attention because the populations of Eastern Box Turtles across the country are showing signs of decline due to habitat fragmentation. The Box Turtle Connection is an ecological study project that is combined with a citizen based effort to understand movements, hibernation, food habits and more.
As a part of this project, we are actively monitoring the Eastern Box Turtle population here at Leigh Farm Park, by using radio telemetry. Radio telemetry is a form of technology that helps us locate specific turtles that have been affixed with transmitters. With the help of interns and students, we are collecting census, habitat and movement data by tracking box turtles on a daily to weekly basis. Wildlife Conservationists across North Carolina are using this data to generate a plan to help protect the turtle and its habitats.
By collecting, studying, marking and releasing turtles, we have learned much about the health of the populations in this area. After two years of monitoring, we have found more than 140 individual turtles in approximately 100 acres! This represents a remarkably high density of turtles.
Our goal in working with the Box Turtle Connection program is to help protect them for the well being of all of the generations to come.
Want to get involved with citizen science and box turtle research? Find out how you help!
For more information, check out this video: http://science.unctv.org/content/100-year-turtle-project