Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nesting Season

June is turtle nesting season. Unfortunately, this is also the season that turtles are most likely to be crushed on the road. The painted turtle shown here was killed on Winchester Street during summer 2006. Turtles are long-lived organisms that experience high rates of reproductive failure. As a result, relatively modest increases in adult mortality (e.g. from new roads and increased traffic rates) can have significant impacts on population viability. As a result of this and of habitat loss, many Massachusetts freshwater turtles are on the state endangered species list (e.g. Blanding's Turtle, Wood Turtle, Box Turtle, Bog Turtle). In Newton, our primary species are the Painted Turtle and the Snapping Turtle. It is probable that we have Spotted Turtles in at least one location, and it is possible that we have Musk Turtles associated with the Charles. Watch for turtles on the road. If you stop and help a turtle across the road, please be sure that you insure your own safety first!

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