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Tracking Turtle Territory

Posted on May 29, 2018 by in The OFI Blog |

A wood turtle withdrawn into its shell.

For the past two years, researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) have been tracking the movements of 30 wood turtles in order to determine the space the they are using and how much the turtles move around. The wood turtle lives part of the year in the water and part of the year on land unlike other turtles that either live mostly on land or mostly in the water. The slow moving animals have been tracked traveling five to ten miles over land to find different bodies of water to winter in. The information that they gather from the study will help to determine what conservation measures would be best to preserve the wood turtle which has seen a population decline of roughly 50 percent over the past few decades.

Jonathan Drescher-Lehman giving a presentation on turtles in Wardensville, WV

Jonathan Drescher-Lehman, a Fellow based at SCBI, recently wrote an article for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology institute web page detailing some of the results of the study so far, as well as the questions that still remain.

Click here to see the article that Jonathan Drescher-Lehman wrote on the movement patterns of wood turtles on SCBI’s website.