Mark + Recapture Bog Turtle Study
This past month the Turtle Conservancy joined Brian Zarate and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife on a field trip to find two of the rarest turtles in North America - the Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) and Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii). NJFW works with land conservancies and private landowners to protect these turtles. The main objective of the trip was to mark new individuals found at the study sites and record any recaptured animals from previous trips. This information will help the biologists determine population trends, potential gene flow and habitat viability. The Northeast remains one of the last strongholds for these two species, but they are still in trouble. Poaching for the international pet trade and loss of habitat to housing developments and agriculture are destroying the streams and peatmoss bogs these animals need to survive. If you find these turtles on a property you think is unprotected and want to help, check out this link on what you can do:
The team was joined by several researchers, scientists and volunteers including Jim Angley, Brian Zarate, Craig Stanford, James Liu, Mo Rod, Greg Cosentino, and George Heinrich.
The Wood Turtle is listed as Endangered in New York and Threatened in New Jersey. These animals are often considered the most intelligent species of turtle in the world. Unfortunately, they have been poached in increasing numbers in recent years for the pet trade in Asia and Europe.
The Bog Turtle is endangered in both New Jersey and New York state and federally protected by the Endangered Species Act.