“On a sunny day back in mid-April, I was hiking through one of Virginia’s remaining pond-pine pocosin wetlands on a routine herp survey for my undergraduate thesis, which aims to produce baseline herpetological data for an ecologically-significant preserve in southeast Virginia. This juvenile Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) had its head buried underneath a patch of sphagnum moss, exposing its namesake spotted carapace. Spotted Turtles often use moss as a place to seek refuge from predators and/or regulate their body temperature. This tiny individual was a welcome sight, as it was a new record for the preserve, as well as a new species encounter for me. Spotted Turtles are a threatened species, and populations have been declining in recent years due to a combination of factors, including habitat loss, road mortality, over collection for the pet trade, and competition from non-native species. Ongoing conservation measures are working to safeguard and revive Spotted Turtle populations, and it is crucial to maintain and expand these efforts to secure their long-term survival in their natural habitats.” – Julianne Jones
This month’s Spotted Turtle photo comes to us from Julianne Jones – thank you for sharing your work with us! To connect with Julianne and see more of her work, please go to @jujubeinthewild on Instagram.
We need your help. Turtles need your help.
The Orianne Society is working to secure the future of imperiled turtles in the Hudson-Berkshire region of the Northeastern United States – the only place in the world where Wood, Spotted, Blanding’s Bog, and Box turtles all occur. Though this area is rich in biodiversity, pressure to develop land here is strong and the need to protect turtle habitat is great.
A generous donor has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, every donation made
to our Hudson Berkshire Turtle Conservation Program before World Turtle Day on May 23, 2023. By donating to this program, you will double your conservation impact! Your help will allow us to conduct widespread turtle inventories, conduct on-the-ground riparian area restoration efforts on private lands, and identify key areas critical to conservation where we will target land conservation efforts.
Donate today to match your conservation dollars. Long live the turtles!