Field update for the Earthshine Nature Programs Snake Tracks Timber Rattlesnake and Turtle Tracks Eastern Box Turtle Conservation projects for July 16, 2013.
Since my last report Utsanati has moved almost .25 mile to the southwest. He is in an area only about 30-40 feet from the spot where I first discovered him in June of 2011. He has been in this area of thick herbaceous brush, vines, blackberries and Multiflora rose at the edge of the forest for about three weeks. I believe he is there because the area offers many great opportunities for food, shelter and thermoregulation.
Zoe has remained in the area of the clearing near the top of the waterfall for the last month. The well drilling machinery have departed leaving only a quiet clearing for her to thermoregulate, feed and who knows…possibly gestate her young? I do not know because I have been unable to visually locate Zoe in the last few weeks due to not only her elusiveness but also my schedule allowing me to locate her only late in the day and not being able to visually locate her due to falling light levels. Hopefully, the next time I locate her she will show herself and I will be able to determine if she is gravid or not.
Jimmy Irwin and Catherine the Eastern Box Turtles continue to follow the same patterns I have found them to follow over the last 5 years. They are both doing well and in good health. Catherine journeyed over the ridge last month to lay her eggs in the neighbors yard. I did not see her nesting but had a report from our neighbor Tom that she was “digging holes on the edge of the driveway” so I can now say with almost 100% certainty that she journeys over the ridge with the sole purpose to nest and lay her eggs. Why does she go almost 1/4 of a mile away? Why does she not nest closer to home where she can find similar environmental conditions an just deposit her eggs on her side of the ridge? Only Catherine knows for sure but I believe that she ventures over the ridge because maybe, just maybe she was born in Tom’s yard over 50 years ago and her instinct tells her to return to that very spot to lay her eggs. Just like a sea turtle returns to the beach of its birth, maybe box turtles return to the area of their birth to lay their eggs? It is just another big question that needs to be answered about the beautiful eastern box turtle that will help turtle conservationists everywhere preserve and protect these wonderful living gems of the forest.
Take a look at the video from today below.
If the video does not play try following this link: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z04z70LMtn8&feature=share&list=UU97Use8D490EwauUWZA_gUg to watch the video on Youtube.
For more information on the Snake Tracks project and Earthshine Nature Programs please visit us at 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 documentary video series.
I am not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated program 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.
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Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission. www.steepcanyon.com
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