East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

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Turtle Parade - They Have Been Marching Uphill All Month

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Last summer I wrote a blog about the absence of turtles.  I still do not see as many as in years ago, but I have seen more this year.  In particular, outside my window where I sit at my computer.  There is an almost daily stream of female Elegant Sliders Trachemys scripta looking for a good place to lay their eggs.  

I have taken at least a dozen of them out of the main area of the RV park and put them down towards the end of the populated area where they can lay their eggs in a place much more conducive to survival of the offspring.  

It does make me feel a bit better about the numbers, even though they are still low.  

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Where Are the Turtles?

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I can't believe that it is hard to find a turtle in Lake O' the Pines.  I can't believe that I can stand on the dock and not see lots of heads bobbing in the water.  

When I was a kid, turtles were everywhere.  If you went to any body of water, turrle heads would be easy to spot.  I go down to the dock and walk along the water almost every day, sometimes several times a day.  In four months of doing this, do you know how many turtles I have seen?  How many heads?  Absolutely NONE.  Not one single turtle.  That is incredible.  And sad.  

Somewhere back around 2006, I had a friend who was involved heavily with the Sierra Club, and she made me aware of the problems with the turtle populations being decimated by exporters.  Hundreds of thousands of turtles were being trapped and sent to China where they are a delicacy.  She even when to testify for the bill that banned commercial "fishing" for turtles on public land which passed in 2007.  Unfortunatley, due to my absence from the outdoors, I did not see firsthand the impact.  Now, I am absolutely astounded.  

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