about south river federation

The much beloved turtles at the Annapolis Harbour Center are about to get a better home! Anne Arundel County is replacing the current overflow style stormwater pond with a wetland stormwater pond filled with turtle perches for the turtles to bask on. The improvements will better help filter out pollutants that run off the surrounding pavement into Church Creek. The Federation and the Terrapin Institute are helping catch, measure, mark, and move the turtles to a temporary home so they are out of harm's way for the duration of construction. While other wildlife is able to move away during construction, turtles have an instinct to bury themselves down into the mud, which could be dangerous when large construction equipment arrives. The rescued turtles will stay at the pond at our MVA restoration site until we return them in the fall to their new and improved wetland home.

Why Measure and Mark the Turtles?

Marking the turtles has two purposes; it is an easy way we can keep track of the number of turtles we have caught, and more importantly, when we go to re-catch the turtles, it will allow us to figure out which turtles we have caught and how many more we have to catch. Marking the turtles with notches does not hurt them and provides an easy, long-term way of identifying each individual turtle. To learn more about the notching identification system that was used, click hereMeasuring the turtles allows us to collect information on the distribution of species, sex, and size of turtles living at the Annapolis Harbour Center pond. 

Check us out in The Capital Gazette here!

Turtle Lift Update 1

The Turtle Lift of 2017 started on March 18th! So far, we spent five "turtleriffic"days of catching, measuring, marking, and moving turtles to their temporary home. Around 30 turtles have been rescued from the upcoming construction at Annapolis Harbour Center-- only a few hundred more to go! To be fair, our traps work best on sunny days, and it has been cloudy for the last few weeks. We have found a variety of sizes and species of turtles, including the Red-eared Slider, the Eastern Painted Turtle, and the Red-bellied Slider, but we have seen snapping turtles as well. The largest turtle caught so far was a female Red-eared Slider, whose shell measured 13 inches long. The smallest turtle found was a juvenile Eastern Painted turtle that likely just hatched this past year and measured only an inch long. Almost 45 volunteers have been out to the site to help us move the turtles -- a big THANK YOU to them all! See more photos here.

snappingturtle compressed


Turtle Lift Update 2

We are now almost 2 months into our turtle catching endeavors and have caught and relocated about 60 turtles. Species that have been caught include the Red-eared Slider, the Eastern Painted Turtle, the Red-bellied Slider, the Common Musk Turtle and some mean-looking Snapping Turtles (see right!). Construction on the Annapolis Harbour Center Pond is slated to start in approximately two weeks, around July 24th. Stay tuned for more updates!











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