Elusive Wood Turtles

“I’ve lived here my whole life and if there were orange-legged turtles crawling around on my farm I’d know about it”. We’ve heard iterations of that line several times now, and perhaps my favorite followup quote, uttered moments after finding two Wood Turtles near the farm’s river ford, went something like “I’ll be dipped in […]

Why Turtles Cross Roads and How to Help

This is a perilous time of year for turtles. Year after year in late spring, female turtles haul themselves up out of their lakes, ponds, and wetlands to find a place to nest on land. Many of those turtles will cross roads in the process, and some will not make it to the other side. […]

On Winter Perseverance of our Cold-blooded Friends

Today marks the 180th day in a row I have had snow in my front yard. Most had melted as of mid-April and all that remains is what piled up under the edge of my barn roof, and that too shall pass in the coming weeks. Yet it was that point around mid-April that I […]

Trapped under the ice, but breathing just fine. How clean water is critical to Wood Turtle survival in the winter.

It’s hard to imagine an air-breathing vertebrate holding their breath for 130 days, but that is exactly what all fifteen of the Wood Turtles I tracked last year using radio telemetry have done since late November. And it’s not just air, they likely haven’t eaten in that time either. During brumation (akin to, but not […]

Winter Blizzards Bring Spring Lizards: How to find amphibians during their spring breeding migrations

Every spring in the northeast, as the snows melt and the ground begins to thaw, frogs and salamanders move out of their upland overwintering habitat down and into wetlands to breed and lay their eggs (and no, salamanders are not actually lizards, so please excuse my turn of phrase). Unfortunately, when roads cut between breeding […]