Photo by Jackie Guzy

 

Photo by Jackie Guzy

 

Photo by Todd Sumlin at the Charlotte Observer

Research:

This first bog turtle was observed a CLC preserve in 1991 and since 2006, researchers and students of the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory (DCHL) have been studying this population, which happens to be one of a few populations of bog turtles in the North Carolina Piedmont.  Surveys for bog turtles have been conducted regularly at this site and numbers of turtles have declined substantially from the mid 1990’s.  In fact, since 2007, only a few turtles have been observed. Over the course of 24 days of intensive searching in 2012, 10 turtles have been identified, including two previously unidentified juveniles. Bog turtles are dependent on relatively rare and specialized wetland habitats such as bogs and fens.  This, in conjunction with their small size, and preference for wallowing in the mud, makes them really difficult to find.  Bog turtles are legally protected or regulated in all states in which they occur, but in North Carolina, these regulations do not provide protection of its habitat, making it essential for additional efforts to conserve appropriate habitat.

Excerpted from CLC news article by Jacquelyn Guzy, Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Links:

Catawba Lands Conservancy Article

Charlotte Observer Article