Friday, August 21, 2015

Mystic Aquarium: Snapping turtle conservation efforts highlighted with crittercam deployment

OLD LYME - "A group of scientists, researchers, dignitaries and students converged on the Tributary Mill Conservancy" Thursday "to highlight conservation efforts of Connecticut’s snapping  turtle population," according to a release.

"The day’s activities commenced with a discussion by representatives of a conservation partnership on the current status of Connecticut’s snapping turtle population and the conservation efforts currently underway," the release said

The partners include Mystic Aquarium, Tributary Mill Conservancy, National Geographic, Department of Energy and Environmental  Protection and Arcadia University, the release said.

Among dignitaries at the event was state Rep. Matthew Lesser, D– Middletown, who "has spearheaded legislation for the protection of snapping turtles. The recent protections set aside by state government for snapping turtles have provided a strong foundation; however, additional protection is the key to the conservation of the species," the release said.

“[We are] moving forward on more and bolder steps to protect Connecticut’s remaining snapping turtles but we need to have the data to let science speak to inform our policy makers about what we need to do to protect this important part of our ecosystem,” Lesser said, also in the release.

The following parts of the release re shared unedited here:

A first-hand account of the project and partnerships was provided by Dr. Tracy Romano, Chief Scientist & Vice President of Research-Mystic Aquarium; Greg Marshall, National Geographic Fellow/Research; Tobias Landberg, assistant professor at Arcadia University; and Dr. Allison Tuttle, Vice President of Biological Programs - Mystic Aquarium.

A health assessment was demonstrated by the Aquarium’s animal care team followed by a crittercam deployment which highlighted an informative morning of conservation and science. Greg Marshall, National Geographic Fellow/Research Associate, developed Crittercam-a video acquisition system aimed at providing insight to animal behavior.

This small camera is carefully mounted on an animal to provide scientists with valuable information about the creature and its environment. The goal is to learn as much as possible about the turtles in hopes of protecting them for generations to come.

Video footage from Thursday’s deployment will be collected and studied by the collective panel as it becomes available.

All of the partners involved are working together to help protect CT’s snapping turtles and to engage and recruit students of all ages to help with protecting the turtles and their environment.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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