May 19th 2016
Forest Glen Preserve is my absolute favorite site to search for turtles in Vermilion County!! What makes this endeavor even more spectacular is that we had guests from the Box Turtle Conservation Workshop hike with us to search for eastern box turtles.
The Box Turtle Conservation Workshop was held the weekend after this search effort. Professionals involved in their own turtle projects, or who just love turtles, came to the event to listen to speakers present their research. Students from Wildlife Epidemiology Lab were even involved by presenting research of their own!
At Forest Glen, we captured twelve turtles in total during a 2 hour search with the trained canines.
Overview of 12 turtles captured today
Three of the turtles were found by humans, rather than the canine team.
Two of the twelve turtles captured were recaptures.
Five of the Eastern Box Turtles were females and five were males. Two of the turtles had unknown sexes due to being too young to distinguish.
Three turtles were juveniles, while nine were adults.
Here are the abnormalities of note from this search effort:
- Erosion on carapace
- Flaking and pitting on carapace
- Predator injuries
- Fused digits
Box Turtle Conservation Workshop
During the conference, attendees had the opportunity to participate in the turtle shell repair lab!
All shapes and sizes of turtles tend to seek out roads. They want to bask on the wonderful warmth! Unfortunately, this is detrimental and hit-by-car is a common presentation for turtles admitted to wildlife rehabilitation centers, like the Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois.
During the wet lab, attendees used a hammer on the 3D printed turtles to simulate the turtles getting hit by cars. Then the attendees were taught how to mend the shell fractures as if it were a real life scenario. This is an important skill to learn as a veterinarian that is interested in wildlife, or just turtles because they are amazing!