Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Turtle Relocation

As part of the Traver Creek Restoration Project through the City of Ann Arbor owned Leslie Park Golf Course, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna will be relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek in the Golf Course.  This week, barrier fencing was installed around the pond on hole number 8 at the LPGC to receive and retain relocated animals before the construction starts.

The City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation's (NAP) staff Herpetologist, David Mifsud, will coordinate the relocation efforts with assistance from NAP staff and volunteers. The hope is that we will be able to relocate the majority of the animals from the ponds well within the time needed for them to successfully overwinter in the relocated area.  NAP will document all collected animals and monitor the receiver area(s) in subsequent years to qualitatively assess the results of the relocation.

The turtles will be live trapped with hoop traps baited with sardines. There will be six of each of three different size traps for a total of 18 traps. Here are some pictures of the traps.

The smallest trap. Notice the yellow, foam swim toy (noodle) which will help keep the trap afloat.

Here is the largest size trap.

Putting the traps out.

The traps need to be staked out so they don't float away.

These nets will help direct turtles into the traps. They hit the net and follow it until they get to the trap.

Here is the set up with one of the large nets.

Another perspective of the traps in the water.

This is the pond on #8 where the turtles and other animals will be relocated.

The silt fence will keep the animals from trying to move back to the pond where we are trapping them.

If you have interest in helping with this project please contact Tina Roselle, the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation at troselle@a2gov.org or call NAP at (734) 794-6627. 


Brian Kuehn said...

I like turtles. This does seem to be a rather complex and costly process for a dozen or so eastern painted turles and snappers.

David Farrington said...

Re Brian's comment, I would point out that this project is not so expensive viewed in context of modern golf which is about enjoyment and fitness with friends and family with challenge to perform that includes courtesy and good graces. Surely this expenditure adds much pleasure for most people who know about it. Bulldozers are expensive.

Scott Spooner said...

Just to clear up some things about this project. This will be a joint undertaking between the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commision, The City of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The main point of the project is not enhancement of the golf course, although that will be a secondary benefit, but to reduce phosphorus and sediment flowing into the Huron River and to minimize stream fluctuations after large rain events.

Funding for the project will come from the City of Ann Arbor Stormwater maintenance fund, with up to 50% loan forgiveness from the State of Michigan because of environmental improvements to the storm drain (Traver Creek.)

The permit from the MDEQ contains the following "Prior to hibernation, turtles shall be trapped from the north and south detention basins and be relocated to undisturbed sites by a qualified herpetologist."

Brian Kuehn said...

David, I hope to see you out playing golf at Leslie soon so we can enjoy fitness with friends and family with challenge to perform that includes courtesy and good graces. Plus we will know that several turtles were re-located without the use of any bulldozers.