Do you like turtles? Who doesn’t? The Urban Turtle Project is here to save our little friends!
Biology faculty members Mark Jordan and Bruce Kingsbury are coordinating this START project. With the assistance of students, alumni, and a partnership with Little River Wetlands Project (LRWP), they are surveying the turtle ecology of Eagle Marsh, raising public awareness about depleting wetlands, and providing actionable information for this work to continue into the future.
The Urban Turtle Festival took place on May 19. Students and faculty members associated with the Environmental Resources Center (ERC) and the Purdue University Fort Wayne biology department answered questions from the estimated 450 people in attendance. The News-Sentinel covered the event, including video of a snapping turtle being released back into the water.
Phase two occurred at Eagle Marsh in May and July. A team of fifteen, consisting of Purdue Fort Wayne students and faculty as well as LRWP staff and volunteers, recorded the species and numbers of turtles in the marsh. They also measured the mortality rates of turtles on nearby Engle Road.
Jordan and Kingsbury are hoping their data and research methods will help establish a long-term monitoring protocol that can be carried out by LRWP to continue protecting. the turtles of Eagle Marsh. We commend them for their great efforts toward turtle conservation!