Field update for the Earthshine Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks reptile conservation projects for May 18, 2013.
First I located Catherine the Eastern Box Turtle. I found her in a location that she uses this time of year to feed heavily before making her long trek over the ridge to lay her eggs in the small field in the community adjacent to Earthshine.
She was sitting on the leaf litter in the forest possibly searching for food items such as slugs, snails and worms. She just looked at me never moving and waited until I moved off.
Jimmy has been missing for over a month. His transmitters’ signal stopped transmitting shortly after he emerged from hibernation and I have not seen him since. It may be a transmitter issue however, I believe it is not. Holohil, the brand of transmitters that I use, are some of the best in the world and Jimmy’s transmitter was replaced last fall. I think Jimmy was either attacked by a predator that damaged his transmitter or he may have been hit by a mower. We have been following Jimmy Irwin since May of 2008 and if we never see him again we can rest assured that the time we have spent following in his Turtle Tracks has been exciting and educational and generated some remarkable data that will be used to help conserve our only terrestrial turtle–the Eastern Box Turtle. Thousands of people of all ages have met Jimmy online or in person when they journeyed to the fields and forests surrounding Earthshine to search for Jimmy and learn a little bit about his life and how this tiny turtle plays a gigantic role in keeping nature–and us–healthy and happy. I will continue to search for Jimmy in the hopes of finding him and be sure to let you know if he ever turns up.
Over the last 7 days since her last locate, Zoe the Timber rattlesnake has moved about 1/2 mile to the southeast. She has traveled along the ridge, passed through or around several houses and yards, crossed the road at least once, moved through several thousand feet of thick forest and made her way to where I found her today–resting about 2.5′ from the edge of a swift flowing mountain stream. Can you find her in the photo below?
On the other side of the stream there were two large dogs tied to trees continually barking at me while I searched for Zoe! It was nerve wracking to say the least. I believe Zoe is on her way to her summer activity area in the fields near the waterfall where she spent last summer. Only time will tell.
I did not track Utsanati today because I ran out of daylight…I will locate him soon.
On May 25th I will locate Zoe and Utsanati and pull them from the field just long enough to replace their transmitters, let them recover and then release them back at their capture locations. I will be sure to get it all on film for you to witness.
Take a look at the video from today below.
For more information on the Snake Tracks project and Earthshine Nature Programs please visit us at http://www.earthshinenature.com
It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through exciting hands-on education, outreach programs and online with our nature videos.
I am not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated project designed to educate you about these greatly misunderstood and amazing animals and hopefully, to impart to you, their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth and healthy humans.
If you would like to help support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate using this link: http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate. Receipts available upon request. You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, reptile vitamins and habitat supplies. If you are interested in donating any of these items please contact us for more information on our current needs.
THANK YOU Earthshine Discovery Center and all of you who have helped to make Earthshine Nature Programs happen! Without all of you our wildlife conservation and education mission would not be possible.
Visit the Earthshine Discovery Center to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit us and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!
Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission. http://www.steepcanyon.com