Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turtle Relocation - Status Update Week 1 (Sept. 17 - 21)

Week 1 - Day 1: The relocation of turtles at Leslie Park Golf Course has been filled with it's share of challenges and as with most projects managing expectations can be one of the hardest parts. Here is a before and after shot of the first days field crew.  Not knowing what to expect in terms of numbers of turtles, the success rate of our trapping technique,  or the depth of the muck; some of us lost hope pretty early in the process.  However, we have been patient and have been able to relocate a total of nine turtles to date and will continue our effort into October. At the end of day one we had trapped one painted turtle. Little did we know what was in store     for us on day two. 

Week 1 - Day 2 : By the end of the day we had relocated 2 massive snapping turtles and one painted turtle.  Big thanks go to 'Turtle Dave' Mifsud, NAP Herpetologist,  and seasoned herp volunteer Sean Zera for their bravery and valor.  Wrestling 30 plus pound snapping turtles is no small feat. It was very exciting for our volunteers and staff.  Many had never seen or smelled (snapping turtle have musk glands on the underside of their shells) such impressive animals that close. 

Week 1 - Day 3 : Another productive relocation day totaling 2 more snapping turtles and 2 painted turtles.

Week 1 - Day 4 : Can't expect every day to be great.  No turtles...

Week 1 - Day 5 : One last painted turtle to finish the week

And one final pic of the biggin' from day two!

Week two started with moving the majority of our traps to the southern retention pond.  As of this afternoon (Week 2 - Day 3) we haven't relocated any additional turtles. We'll continue trapping efforts on both ponds into next week. For more information about Natural Area Preservation and the work that we do in the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Natural Areas you can go to our website ( or you can friend us on Facebook (  

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