SVT and the City of Marlborough will be conducting a citizen-science survey of turtles in Memorial Forest in Sudbury and the adjacent Desert Conservation land in Marlborough. The 2011 Great Turtle Search will survey common and rare turtles living in the area to gain a general sense of turtle presence on the properties. Following a kick-off Community Turtle Education Day on April 9th and a Spring Break Survey for students on April 21st, a series of small group surveys with 5-10 volunteers will take place throughout the spring.
Dates for the remaining small group surveys are listed below and registration details for each are posted on our Calendar Page.
If you are interested, please contact Erin Snook, 978-443-5588 x 21.
Volunteer to be a Surveyor!
Search for turtles on Memorial Forest property with training provided by a Team Leader. After initial training, a Team Leader will guide surveyors by recommending specific areas and techniques to search for turtles. Surveyors will be asked to fill out a data sheet when turtles are sighted. This information will be used to inform our property management plans and stewardship activities. Each small group survey will last about 2 hours.
Volunteer to be a trap-checker!
Help as part of a team to check aquatic turtle traps by visiting the properties for your turn once a week for about 2-3 hours in May. Training is required and trap checkers will be asked to sign up for at least 2 dates. You’ll need to be comfortable walking in the water and handling turtles found in the traps.
The Desert Natural Area, a unique cluster of conservation lands in Sudbury and Marlborough, has some particularly special habitat potential. The area is known for its well-drained, sandy soils in which you will find large spans of White pine and clumps of the Pitch pine-Scrub Oak forest type -- a nationally declining habitat. Pitch pine-Scrub oak forests provide homes for birds such as Eastern towhees and Whip-poor-whill, both of which have been experiencing population declines in recent years. The sandy soils and wetlands provide great homes and nesting grounds for turtles.
The Great Turtle Search will be a fun way to get locals involved in and educated about their neighborhood forest and its habitat potential. Volunteer survey days will begin with a discussion about wildlife habitat, threats to rare turtles and basic search and identification techniques. They will end with volunteers searching for, photographing and logging the turtles we find.