Glyptemys insculpta researchers step in to help
NORTH OF DULUTH — About 200 yards off a railroad grade, researcher Maddy Cochrane waved her antenna in a semicircle to hear the strongest beep on her VHF radio receiver, then bolted off in that direction. The forest was thick with underbrush, big aspen trees and mosquitoes, and followers had to walk fast to keep up. It didn’t take long for the research team to find No. 2035 — a 19-year-old wood turtle that is blissfully unaware of its role in preserving its own species. Cochrane grabbed the turtle and held it up, its stubby legs flailing away. “They all have their own personalities. Some just sit there. Others try to bite you. … This one is pretty standard. She’s not a fan, but she’s not putting up too much fuss,” Cochrane said. “They will pee on you, though, especially at nesting time.” Click the link to read more…
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Did You Know…
Glyptemys insculpta (wood turtle): In the past, populations were forced south by extending glaciers. Remains from the Rancholabrean period (300,000 to 11,000 years ago) have been found in states such as Georgia and Tennessee, both of which are well south of their current range. After the receding of the ice, wood turtle colonies were able to re-inhabit their customary northern range (areas like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia).
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Photo from Steve Kuchera / [email protected].