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Bog Turtle News

A Collaborative Approach to Restore Bog Turtle Populations

Like the bog turtle itself, bog turtle populations in North Carolina are very small. A collaborative effort between multiple conservation organizations hopes to change that by giving them a little help.

Original source

Last June, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tangled Bank Conservation and Zoo Knoxville began a population augmentation process called head-starting. Head-starting involves raising turtles in captivity their first year to increase their size relative to wild hatchlings, thereby increasing their chances of survival in the wild upon release.

Head-starting is part of a much larger conservation effort for the bog turtle that includes habitat management and restoration, protection from unnaturally high-predation levels, collaboration with private landowners, addressing road mortality and land protection. Despite all these efforts, most populations are still in decline, and many have only a few adults remaining and even fewer or no young turtles, which is what prompted the Wildlife Commission to consider augmenting populations.

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New Jersey Bog Turtle Conservation Initiative: Working with Landowners and Communities

The Endangered and Nongame Species Program created and is implementing a comprehensive management initiative to provide long term conservation of the important bog turtle populations in New Jersey.

Original source

The management initiative consists of four main actions:

  • Developing relationships with private landowners that host bog turtles on their land.
  • Facilitating the acquisition of sites threatened by adjacent land use activities.
  • Performing habitat management and experimenting with new techniques to control and reverse habitat succession and invasive exotic plant proliferation.
  • Facilitating long term protection of bog turtle wetlands by working with local communities to implement land use planning changes guided by the Landscape Project.

Landowner Contacts
Since many of the priority bog turtle sites are on private land, the success of any conservation plan depends on the development of relationships with landowners. The landowner contact initiative is well under way. Mostly through personal contacts, landowners learn about bog turtles and the ecological value of their habitats.

The ENSP takes time to walk properties with landowners and address their concerns on a range of wildlife and conservation topics. Good relationships with landowners has created positive habitat management at the best bog turtle sites.

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Celebrating Bog Turtles During Wild Turtle Week

Wild Turtle Week gives us an opportunity to bring extra attention to turtles and our conservation efforts on their behalf.
Celebrating Bog Turtles During Wild Turtle Week

Help bog turtles by reporting illegal poaching

Happy Wild Turtle Week, everyone! While folks in our field love to celebrate turtles every day, Wild Turtle Week gives us an opportunity to bring extra attention to turtles and our conservation efforts on their behalf.

Wild Turtle Week was created in 2022 by the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) in partnership with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Last year, #WildTurtleWeek did a tremendous job of raising awareness on many social media platforms about the importance of these unique species and their ecosystems, and the ongoing threats that they face all across the globe. 

For the 2023 Wild Turtle Week, which began on May 22 and runs through this week, the daily themes are: 

  • Monday, May 22: Turtley Awesome: Why turtles are special

  • Tuesday, May 23: Turtles Need Our Help: Threats turtles face

  • Wednesday, May 24: Every Turtle Counts: Turtle populations can’t afford extra losses 

  • Thursday, May 25: Turtle Power: Turtles play important roles in their ecosystems 

  • Friday, May 26: Be a Good Turtle Neighbor: Everyone can play a role in helping turtles

The partners have put together a really spectacular toolkit that includes tons of educational content for students, social media kits in English and Spanish, infographics, free photo and video resources, and even some merchandise so that you can show off your turtle pride while helping to support important conservation efforts. 

The organizers of Wild Turtle Week have made sure that bog turtles get plenty of time in the spotlight by sharing tons of great photo imagery, featuring them in infographics about illegal collection of wildlife turtles, and highlighting fun facts about their ecology, evolution, and conservation status in suggested social media posts. They’ve also shared some great stories about conservation efforts underway for bog turtles across different parts of their range. That’s because celebrating bog turtles also means celebrating all the dedicated researchers and conservation professionals who are working every day to protect their habitat and restore their populations. So Happy #WildTurtleWeek to all of you and thank you for all that you do!