The Final 2016 Turtle Team Week

This week of Turtle Team was the last one of the summer! If that weren’t troubling enough… it was that last week of Turtle Team that I would ever be able to help coordinate! I may become sentimental. The Wildlife Epidemiology Lab and the people that I get to work with have done wonders for me and I only hope that I have been helpful toward the overall goals of this lab.

“Saving the world one turtle at a time!”

Anyhow, we found 34 turtles throughout the four blistering hot days! We only had 2 incidental findings, but we worked hard through the heat for these turtles [depicted in the youtube video at the end].

Collison

  • 2 hour search effort
  • 10 Eastern Box Turtles captured
    • 2 turtles were juveniles
    • All turtles were captured by canines

Forest Glen

  • 2.5 hour search effort
  • 8 Eastern Box Turtles were captured
    • 2 turtles were juveniles
    • 2 turtles were captured by humans rather than dogs!

Kennekuk

  • 2 hour search effort
  • 11 Eastern Box Turtles captured
    • 4 turtles were juveniles
    • All turtles were captured by canines

Kickapoo

  • 2.5 hour search effort
  • 5 Eastern Box Turtles captured
    • 3 turtles were juveniles
    • All turtles were captured by canines
pencil case

Each Eastern Box Turtle is placed into a pencil case upon capture. This allows us to have a clean place for the turtle to be kept as we continue our search for other turtles!

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Here is our trail of veterinary students following behind the canine search team, so that they do not throw off the dogs’ search effort.

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Megan is working hard to make sure the samples, in the green container, are of good quality. Sometimes the blood clots inside the tubes if we do not shake them. Shaking the tubes allows the anticoagulant to disperse throughout the entire sample of blood.

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There are multiple types of habitat for us to search. This was a lucky patch of large grasses that we stumbled upon this summer!

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Marni shows us how treacherous these ravines can be when we are looking for our beloved Eastern Box Turtles.

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Molly poses with a quirky Eastern Box Turtle. These guys sure have some personality!

dopler

After a long search effort at Kickapoo, I am calculating this turtle’s heart rate. The doppler amplifies the turtle’s heart beat, so that I can hear it while still being able to restrain the animal.

aural abscess

This Eastern Box Turtle has an aural (relates to ear) abscess and a head tilt.

Below are abnormalities that we noted during physical exams of the turtles:

  • supranumerary 1st costal scute
  • triangular-shaped scute
  • aural abscess with head tilt
  • abnormally thick nails
nail

Abnormally thick nails are depicted in this photograph.

weird

The scutes on the top of this turtle’s shell are abnormally shaped! Interesting.

The turtle and the hound

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EBT

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dog

turtle

The view

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trail

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I spent a lot of the hike recording videos, rather than taking photos for this week!

They are compiled in this lovely, homemade youtube creation: 

Ode to Megan

Without this lady right here, I may have gone bonkers. She was hardworking, kind, and the most helpful being. She will do wonderfully in my role next year and I hope that I taught her all of the things!

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Megan (right) and I before a Turtle Team search effort.

By | 2017-08-09T10:09:31+00:00 August 5th, 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.