Day #2 Kennekuk

May 17th 2016


It was a cloudy day at Kennekuk County Park with no wind. We captured nine turtles in total during our 2.5 hour search effort.


The quirky thing is that we caught the same amount of turtles as we did on Day #1!


Kennekuk’s trail map.

turtle dogs

John Rucker’s turtle dogs relaxing after a long search effort.

Overview of the nine turtles captured today


One turtle was an incidental finding, rather than a canine capture.


Four turtles captured were males, three turtles were females, and two turtles were unknown. The 2 turtles were deemed unknown because these turtles were too small and young to be able to tell, a.k.a. juvenile.


Six of the Eastern Box Turtles were adults, while three were juveniles.


Eastern Box Turtle posing for a picture during a physical exam at the site.


John Rucker leading the pack of 20 veterinary students through the forests of Illinois with his dogs.

Here are the abnormalities of note from this search effort: 

  • Ectoparasites
  • Mass in cervical region
  • Old fracture at the tail tip
  • Predator injuries

Here are the ectoparasites that were near the head of this Eastern Box Turtle.

Tribute to Turtle Team members

They are a vital part of our conservation efforts


Katie is a veteran Turtle Team member. She hung out with us this summer before she left for her Tennessee amphibian adventures–check out her blog too!


Marta (right) and I (left) posing while hiking in the woods, following the turtle dogs. This is Marta’s 3rd Turtle Team season and she helps with all fieldwork projects of W.E.L.


Evan (left) talking to John Rucker (right) after a canine search effort. Evan is a veteran Turtle Team member and is interested in zoo medicine.


Sam (right) is recording in the databook at the moment when we captured the turtle depicted. Erin (left), veteran Turtle Team member, is taping an identification number temporarily on this turtle’s shell. She hung out with Turtle Team for the first week of summer and then went off to work on her Blanding’s Turtle research–check out her blog too!


Megan is posing with her stick that she originally thought was a snake. Megan is focusing on Snake Fungal Disease in the lab, so I cannot blame her for having snake on the brain. There are not only turtles in these woods!


Jeremy is a PhD student associated with the W.E.L. He is working on a large project involving radiotelemetry and ranavirus transmission studies in turtles.

Next blog I’ll talk about Day #3 in Kickapoo and introduce Jeremy’s PhD project that involves radiotelemetry!

By | 2017-08-09T10:09:32+00:00 June 15th, 2016|2016|0 Comments

About the Author:

Kayla is a third year vet student, her main focus is to explore the epidemiology of common pathogens of reptiles and amphibians in eastern and southern Illinois.