Wet, Wild, Wonderful Turtle Field School

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Turtles of Cape Cod Field School 2011 Mascot

The weather turned wet and wild on Cape Cod this week as the 11th Annual Turtles of Cape Cod Field School convene at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet.  Temperatures dipped into the mid 50s during evenings and just edged the thermometer into the low 60s during the day.  Dense Londonesque fog blanketed the landscape, only interrupted by torrential downpours, punctuated by rolling thundershowers. 

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Field School Participants Cluster Around First Box Turtle

Impossible turtle conditions?  Nope … this week proved PERFECT weather as the field school set an all time record for Eastern box turtle captures on the Outer Cape!

Hunting for Eastern Box Turtles in the Rain

Whether tracking a radio-tagged 10-year-old box turtle or discovering new turtles never encountered in more than three decades of research at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, field school participants were on the hunt … and they produced.

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Bob Prescott Documents Eastern Box Turtle

Not for fun or sport, although the fun part can never be discounted, the goal of this research work is to ensure the survival of a protected species in Massachusetts.  Box turtle populations have significantly declined throughout the Commonwealth as human pressures transform natural habitats.  The knowledge gained through the dedication of turtle field school participants may prove the deciding factor in preserving this exquisite species for generations to come.  Congratulations to Linda, Peter, Pat, David, Bruce, Abbe, Jim, MaryBeth and Hans for an extraordinary field school experience and a job well done!

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More Field School 2011 Highlights to Follow

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