Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Turtles and golf

When the Traver Creek Project was started, one of the most interesting parts was the turtle stipulation. In order to begin the creek renovation, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna were relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek to the pond on #8. There are at least four large snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and numerous painted turtles(Chrysemys picta) in Traver Creek and there was concern over what would happen to these turtles during and after the project was completed. To help them after the project, four sand piles were created for the turtles to use as nesting areas. 

A mother laying her eggs.

The eggs in the nest.

The eggs are marked  so that the same side remains up in the new nest.

When there is a nest located where someone doesn't want it or in a place that this young will not have a good chance for survival, NAP staff will collect the eggs and bring them to one of the nesting mounds. These eggs were taken from the bunker on #6 at Huron Hills and transplanted to the pond near #12 at Leslie. A shallow hole was excavated and the eggs placed inside. After covering the eggs with soil, a predator exclusion box was placed over the nest. This will keep raccoons and other small animals from eating them until they hatch in September.

One of the turtle nesting mounds. There was also a nest that was found on the nesting mound that was covered.

The predator exclusion box, along with an explanation of what it is and a phone number for questions.

This is a favorite place for turtles to lay eggs, as this is the third year in a row that the same spot has been used as a nest.

The turtles go into a trance when laying eggs and do not respond. Please stay away from them during this process.

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