For the last two years, the Orianne Society has been involved in a multi-state effort to document the current distribution of Alligator Snapping Turtles. In many places these turtles were harvested commercially for the production of turtle soup, causing severe declines in wild populations. The purpose of these survey efforts is to help the U.S. […]
In a world with increasing human development, Gopher Tortoise translocations are an unfortunate reality in longleaf ecosystem conservation. While it’s far from an ideal situation, we try to make the best of it by saving tortoises from impending development and strategically releasing them where they’ll bolster existing populations. In this month’s episode, Ben works on […]
The summer continues to be be slow for the Longleaf Savannas research staff. In order to break up the monotony of office work, Ben recently spent a day down on Jekyll Island shadowing Orianne Society member and field biologist, Chad Harrison, while he radio tracked some coastal Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes.
It continues to be a slow summer here for the Longleaf Savannas crew, as weather and river conditions are still preventing us from conducting turtle fieldwork. But in the meantime, Ben Stegenga is preparing for our Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle surveys by prepping field equipment and repairing traps. Here he takes a moment to highlight […]
Ephemeral wetlands are important for many southeastern amphibians, but they also serve an important role in the life histories of many snakes and turtles. This month Ben recounts some observations he made during Spotted Turtle surveys and explains how annual wetland drying can really benefit some southeastern reptiles.
As a keystone species, Gopher Tortoises are a vital component of a healthy Georgia sandhill, so the Orianne Society actively promotes tortoise conservation through prescribed fire, habitat restoration, outreach, and monitoring. This winter Ben has been working on a new project where he’s mapping tortoises along Georgia’s public roads. Join him on one of these […]
Join Ben in this month’s episode of Fieldnotes as he explores the wide array of defensive strategies displayed by the “Emperor of the Forest”, the Eastern Indigo Snake.
In this month’s installment of Fieldnotes, we’ve kicked off the 2018-19 Eastern Indigo Snake survey season, and Ben takes a moment to discuss the seasonal behavior of Georgia indigos, while showcasing Humboldt, a large male from our mark-recapture study.
The early fall months are prime time for observing Georgia’s sandhill snake species. Join Ben in this episode of Fieldnotes as he shares a recent encounter with one of the Southeast’s most elusive upland snakes, the Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus).