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Below The Surface

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Head Start Baby Softshell Turtles at ECHO for the Winter

It seems like just a few weeks ago, we had remnants of summer weather in the Lake Champlain
Basin. Late hatching turtles still had a shot to head into the Lake and nearby rivers before cooler fall days
New arrivals: baby spiny softshell turtles. 
triggered the instinct to hibernate. Steve Parren, a rare species biologist with Vermont Fish and Wildlife in the Wildlife Diversity Program, a man with a passion for spiny softshell turtles, had been monitoring nest sites, incubating eggs, hatching out and releasing youngsters. But, he was running out of time and out of workable weather. It was too cold to release any more turtles. It was time to call ECHO. On October 16th, Steve delivered 14 baby spiny softshell turtles to ECHO for over-wintering. Though it is possible to induce hibernation in captive turtles, instead, these quarter-sized, cuties will be kept in 65-75F degree water, fed daily and given a “Head-Start” on life when they are released in June.



video
VIDEO: New arrivals explore their new home at ECHO.

With only two to three hundred adult spiny softshell turtles in Vermont, this shy, elusive species needs help. Our children and their children have a right to see these turtles when they’re adults. The spiny softshell turtle needs habitat protection and programs like Steve’s work by protecting nest sites and nestlings. ECHO’s support of the “Head Start” program, now in its seventh year, is important for the vulnerable babies that also need help from everyone who lives in or enjoys the Lake Champlain Basin.  Come see the babies while they’re here this winter at ECHO. See them up close and personal and learn what you can do to help them remain part of a balanced ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, great heat start programs has been providing ECHO. I appreciate them to provide in such effective head start programs for babies and I'm also willing to visit there to see how they take care babies. Thanks for letting us know.
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    ReplyDelete