This week we kicked things off at two locations in Illinois sampling Ornate Box Turtles (OBTs). At our first site, we didn’t find as many turtles as we had hoped for but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there! Our dogs search by picking up on scent trails left during a turtle’s morning migration. Due to the temperature and humidity, the dogs weren’t able to pick up many trails due to the turtles not moving around as much or the scent trail disappearing too quickly. This, combined with how tall the grasses were this year, made it hard for our dogs and humans find many turtles!

At our second site, the conditions were right for the turtles to be moving! We found 30+ turtles the first two days when we hiked with the dogs and many of these were juveniles. Our smallest turtle we found weighed only 15 grams and was just bigger than a quarter!

Check out this video for more Ornate adventures from the week!

Warning: extreme cuteness ahead

Coming up next week: our week in Vermillion County!