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 […]

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 […]

Varied Habitats Key to Wood Turtle Success

Looking down into many river valleys in Northern New England you’ll see forested mountains, rolling hills comprised of hay fields and pasture, and extensive floodplain wetlands with a clear, gravel bottom stream meandering through the middle. Wood Turtles don’t necessarily need access to absolutely everything within such a view (apart from the stream), but a […]

Tripod Turtles

Last month during a Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) survey I stumbled upon one of the most vibrantly colored turtles I have ever seen. Easily recognized by their brown shells, black heads, and distinctly orange necks and limbs, even the more drably-colored Wood Turtles are quite striking, but this particular animal really stood out to me. […]