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Turtle season its here!


Rainy season in the Alamos region, Sonora, is at its peak and for the Students Conserving Nature (SCN) team this only means one thing: turtles are out!


On Tuesday morning we went out to track the two Painted Wood Turtles (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima rogerbarbouri) that we have equipped with radio transmitters and we had a great day. Apart from the individuals being tracked, the team found six individuals, three of which were recaptures and three new individuals. One of those six individuals was a hatchling, one of the smallest and most adorable that we have recorded for this species in the area! We also found two pairs of male and female adults, one pair was inside a pool in a small stream and the other pair was walking about 20 meters above the stream on land.



Here are some pictures of that day. From top to bottom and from left to right: 1) A beautiful Painted Wood turtle that the SCN team found, 2) One of the amazing females that SCN team has been tracking since 2019!, 3) SCN team taking notes in the field after encountering a male and female Painted Wood Turtle together in a rocky stream, 4) SCN students taking morphological measurements of a recaptured individual, 5) Félix García, the local leader in Sonora, equipping a recaptured male with a freshly ordered Holohil RI-2B transmitter.

 

On Wednesday the team went out to track the three individuals of Sierra Box Turtle equipped with radio transmitters that we are monitoring in the tropical dry forest. These individuals in particular are hard to find, not only because they usually travel large distances, but also because they live on rocky hills with steep slopes that are difficult to navigate. Finding the three target individuals for the day was successful enough for us, as we have been tracking these three individuals since 2019 and have not found any new individuals in the area.



Here are some pictures of the day. From left to right: 1) An old male of Sierra Box Turtle that the team of SCN is tracking in the tropical dry forest, 2) Pieces of shell of a marked individual of Painted Wood Turtle that we found on a rock, next to a stream, 3) SCN taking a brake along a beautiful stream.

 

We recently celebrated a new partnership with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). This partnership will allow SCN to continue studying the ecology of different turtle species, and to expand the scholarship program to the Yucatán Península. Here is the link of the announcement published this week: Turtle Survival Alliance Expands with New Programs and Projects in Africa, Mexico and the United States

Thanks to this partnership, this week, SCN was able to purchased new radio transmitters and equipped more individuals of Painted Wood Turtles to better understand how males and females use space and how often they interact.