[URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

1happyturtle
Posts: 3
Joined: June 18th, 2014, 1:05 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

[URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by 1happyturtle » July 8th, 2014, 10:13 am

Local and state authorities are refusing to rehome animals stranded by ponds drying out in San Jose's Overfelt Gardens park. Dozens upon dozens of native and non-native turtles are expected to migrate on their own but the problem is the park is in an industrial and residential area and by McKee Road a 6 lane street. The park is also surrounded by a chain link fence.

I have archived alot of info here as well as local media coverage and pics: http://turtle2pond.tumblr.com/

We have volunteers who want to help and even multiple private ponds happy to take in these abandoned red-eared slider turtles but the red-tape is preventing us from moving forward. I have even forwarded contact info of Jonathan Young a grad student at SFSU who has undertaken major turtle rescues for the Presidio trust on federal land and have yet to hear back.

What the turtles need most is a rescue organization with a Memoranda of Understanding or MOU with CADFW to lead the removal and rescue of animals from these man-made ponds. The turtles would then go to private ponds and a designated fenced in sanctuary where they will no longer be "pests" in the ecosystem. We have volunteers and ponds/sanctuary ready. We just can't get the officials to say yes! The problem of non-native turtle overpopulation was caused by the pet and food industry and therefore these animals are not to blame.

We also have proof that native species such as the Western Pond turtle, a species of special concern, also call these ponds home. Please see the pic https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjesfo/27 ... otostream/.

The person to contact at CADFW is:
[email protected]

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 8th, 2014, 1:14 pm

Have you tried contacting someone from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the California Turtle and Tortoise Club? They usually have some sort of plan and volunteers to help out with this type of project. Go to http://www.tortoise.org/siliconvalley/ In fact they have an upcoming meeting on July 18th held at the
San Jose Masonic Center where you could bring this to their attention.

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Fieldnotes » July 9th, 2014, 2:19 am

Has NOT removing them been discussed? Perhaps an ‘on site refuge’ could be arranged: piles wet earth for aestivation or a swimming pool that could be filled with water as needed. A twisted idea, sell the Sliders to pet shops at a low price with the proceeds helping the park or local Turtle club. In the Slider's native realm, what do they do when their pond dries. "They bury in muck and pray for rain."

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Fundad » July 9th, 2014, 5:47 am

The State is trying to get rid of the Red Ear Slider populations, and IMO rightfully so, because they wreck havoc on our native Western Pond Trutles, especially the young ones .


Personally I think Fieldnotes gave great advice, and you could save the turtles much easier that way.

While I am sympathetic of the fate of the poor Red Eared Sliders, I am much more sympathetic of the fate of our little native WPT. While the WPT seems to be doing ok in Northern California, it's an illusion because the Bullfrog and the Red Ear Slider are eliminating the young of the WPT, and when the older generations of pond turtles die the population is going to crash hard in all of the areas where the RES and the Bullfrog persist.

If WPT's are currently present having the RES population parish may bring back the WPT to normal levels in the pond, WPT's are resistant to dry outs many will find refuge underground during the dry times.

Sorry as an organization we can not support contacting the CDFW for this one, as we are working side by side with them
on many other extremely important projects effecting native animals.

Best
Brian Hinds
California Chapter President

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 9th, 2014, 7:50 am

I am actually surprised that there was a WPT residing in the same pond with the RES's and other invasive turtle species. You normally don't ever find these residing side by side in the same body of water. I am guessing that this pond was most likely man made and served as a decorative element in the park. Has anyone taken a look at the photo of the WPT in question? From the shell wear it looks like an aged individual. I am going to throw out another suggestion that this may have been a captive individual that was released at one point in this fabricated turtle pond to reside alongside the other turtles. As Fundad indicated, CDF&W does not want to encourage the ownership of RES's because of their considerable impact on natives. Any turtle can easily wander away from a pond in someone's backyard unless the person takes proper measures to put up appropriate barriers. Most people don't do that because it is not visually appealing to them. The same holds true for bullfrog tadpoles people insist upon adding to their backyard ponds. Most of the members of the CTTC
community understand these issues and invest alot of time and effort in the proper care and housing of turtles and tortoises. I would not trust RES ownership to some random individual who is not educated and aware of these impacts. Now if only CDF&W would be more consistent about practicing what it preaches and would discontinue the stocking of non native fish for sport take everything would be just mahhhvelous!

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 10th, 2014, 8:54 pm

With all due respect to my friends Fundad and Klawnscale and with the knowledge that any non-native species is bad overall, here are the major threats that face the WPT in order of importance:

1) Bass & Bullfrogs
2) Non-native crayfish (which is all of them unless you live in Shasta County where the Endangered Shasta Crayfish lives)
3) Water snakes
4) Red-eared Sliders and other non-native turtles

#1 needs to be addressed NOW in many places. #4 is something to address eventually when #1 is under control.
The non-native turtles might out breed the WPT and compete with them for food in some areas, but they do not do anything else, and I see both species basking side-by-side in ponds and rivers. I even see young WPTs in the same places as Red-eared sliders, but not in the same places as Bullfrogs (with a few exceptions). I see no turtles or very few turtles in old Bass ponds.

OK, just my two cents from recording almost 2,000 entries of WPTs from 44+ counties for the HERP database.

Image
RES and WPT basking together in the Sacramento Delta

Image
RES, WPT, RES, WPT-Yolo county slough.

Image
RES and WPTs basking together in the Consumnes River
If a slider hogs the basking site, the pond turtles just climb on top of them. They will also steal food out of the slider's mouth. :lol: :lol: :lol: They can hold their own against the sliders, but they just don't lay as many eggs...

I think the reason so many scientists want to get rid of the non-native sliders is because they are easier to trap than Bullfrogs. It might be a feel-good project, but the Bullfrogs and Bass are the real issue.

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Fieldnotes » July 10th, 2014, 10:11 pm

:beer:

User avatar
El Garia
Posts: 720
Joined: October 20th, 2011, 3:39 pm
Location: Santa Clara Co. , CA

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by El Garia » July 11th, 2014, 1:40 am

the practice of fangsheng (the releasing of captives, in hopes of receiving good karma) is a major cause for the growing numbers of invasive turtles in the bay area

fangsheng is no secret among rangers and naturalists in my community, but its rarely (if ever) mentioned in our media.
here's an article where they explored finding solutions, where fangsheng could be practiced in an eco-friendly way (i have my doubts) http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles ... ect-update

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 11th, 2014, 7:54 am

Hey Hubbs: Have you noticed that the WPT populations are more substantial in numbers in Northern California than in Southern California? When I was working in the Natomas Conservancy area I was quite surprised at how often I encountered them. Several times I had to remove baby pond turtles from minnow traps. Perhaps due to the lack of suitable habitat that is ideal for WPT has had a significant affect on their Southern populations. Combine that with the invasives, and the Southern populations are just not doing as well. It's nice to see some of those Northern old-timer WPT have learned how to remain stalwart regardless of the presence of RES. I personally have not seen RES and WPT sharing bodies of water here in SoCal. The bullfrogs are definitely detrimental to the baby WPT and juvenile Giant Garter Snakes. If I found a bullfrog in a minnow trap I would quietly dispatch it after removing it. My boss was concerned about someone in the general public witnessing me dispatching a bullfrog because he did not want to get phone calls from irate 'animal rights' folk back at the office. The chances of some passerby witnessing me were very low ,though since the areas I was working in were private lands and conservancies with locked gates and not open to the general population. Regarding fangsheng, while working in Hatbor City, I removed several RES that were utilized for such purposes from Lake Machado. None of the introduced turtles looked healthy. The water quality in Lake Macahdo is very poor.

Image

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 11th, 2014, 8:52 am

I think the problem with southern CA is the lack of existing suitable habitat, along with bullfrogs. But, it depends on where you go. If you include Ventura county in SoCal, and you look at streams and ponds with no bullfrogs you will see just as many turtles as in the north. South of Ventura county there is less pristine habitat, therefore less pristine populations. Places like Lake Machado have probably been void of pond turtles for decades, and most of the other large waterways are bullfrog infested. There are still streams in San Diego county and Riverside county without bullfrogs, which also have huge pond turtle populations currently (don't know what the drought may do to those though). I have seen Red-eared sliders and pond turtles basking in the same pond in Riverside county, and also occupying the same creek. I don't think it's a cut and dried "More turtles in the North" scenario, but remember, the North has a lot more water, so more turtles would be a natural thing. However, I do not see any difference in population densities at each location from north to south.

Fieldnotes: RES means Red-eared slider. It's a simple abbreviation.

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 11th, 2014, 9:01 am

Places like Lake Machado have probably been void of pond turtles for decades,

Lake Machado has been devoid of anything native for decades in terms of fauna. In this instance, I was referring to Lake Machado as a popular repository for fangsheng turtles; not the presence/absence of Western Ponds.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 11th, 2014, 9:15 am

I got that. I was just making another comment about the lake. :thumb:

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by hellihooks » July 11th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Flores Ranch has had bullfrogs since back before you could buy waterdogs for bait... and still has a healthy WPT population

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Fundad » July 11th, 2014, 2:53 pm

Flores Ranch has had bullfrogs since back before you could buy waterdogs for bait... and still has a healthy WPT population
Show me a picture of a juvi turtle from there.

There are still lots of adult turtles were there is bullfrogs, but very few, if any young turtles..

Fundad

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by hellihooks » July 11th, 2014, 3:28 pm

The one I documented on EGA property was about 5-6 in in diameter... not sure how old that would be for a WPT. I open up all the big bullfrogs I kill there, looking for neo WPT and/or Arroyo's... haven't found either yet... but haven't been way back where the turtles are, mostly cause it's trespassing and FR does NOT want people out there documenting turtles or Arroyo's, for fear it will hinder their development plans... :roll:

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 11th, 2014, 5:48 pm

If I could get a look at that ranch I would be able to tell you if the population is healthy or not. The fact that you've only seen one turtle does not lead me to believe it is very healthy. Your's is an older adult male. I would change the "age" on your record entry. Healthy means lots of turtles, of all sizes.

Like this:

Image

and this:

Image

or this:

Image

or this:

Image

All of these pics are from creeks that have NO bullfrogs, NO crayfish, and NO Bass (not you Jim). You can see juveniles in each pic.

Anyway, I want to know who told the reporter for the mercury News this?

Quote:
"The turtles at Overfelt are pond sliders from the southern United States that are commonly sold as pets in California. Once they outgrow the cute phase, they are frequently abandoned in public waterways where they prey on the eggs and babies of the California native Western pond turtle."

What a load of BS. This whole "Save the turtles" thing seems to be a PETA driven project. Shows how much PETA knows about natural balance. :lol:

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by monklet » July 11th, 2014, 8:02 pm

Awesome pics Brian, but I'm cornfused about the assertion and your rejection regarding "they prey on the eggs and babies of the California native Western pond turtle" , and your coment ..."What a load of BS" ???

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 11th, 2014, 8:05 pm

OK...they do not...they do not eat the babies or eggs...raccoons do, but not red-eared sliders...and i should have listed racoons above along with bullfrogs and bass as a major threat, especially in drought years when the water is low or drying up. There's a lot of WPTs out there right now with only 3 legs or no head. I think we need to make the Coonskin cap popular again. In a perfect world, everyone would wear one of these:

Image

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by monklet » July 11th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Dude, that's just like too ...well, can't say it and be politically correct LOL!

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 11th, 2014, 8:54 pm

LOL Here's some raccoon facts for you. There are too many of them. They have infiltrated areas they never lived in 100 years ago. They eat almost anything. They do not belong in SoCal canyons. They need to die. So do River Otters, but that's another rant...

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by monklet » July 11th, 2014, 9:01 pm

I beaned a coon with a can of peas (or some sh*t) once while I was van camping ...the frickin varmint didn't eve flinche ...I was surrouned by the evil bastards! Calledi in for some A-10 suppression and they blew their asses right off the planet! God bless!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9La3Yc2u3NM

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 12th, 2014, 7:12 am

How do you know this for sure, Hubbs? I am aware that captive RES can be fed cooked chicken eggs, so why wouldn't they consume WPT eggs or hatchlings if they came upon them? RES are highly opportunistic with their choice of foods. Other species of aquatic turtles have been known to raid waterfowl nests to eat eggs and chicks. My supervisor did some spotlighting one night walking the shoreline of Lake Machado to find Nerodia. Instead, he stumbled upon a 20 lb common snapper dining on goose eggs. Raccoons aren't the only culprits. You can include rats, opossums and squirrels to that list.

User avatar
MarcLinsalata
Posts: 562
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:50 pm
Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by MarcLinsalata » July 12th, 2014, 8:23 am

I'm quite positive that turtles do not raid other turtle nests to feast on eggs, particularly red ear sliders because they would not leave the water for any other reason but to lay eggs themselves, not to look for food. Even if they found food on dry land, 99% of the time they have to drag it into the water so they can swallow, so eating other eggs does not seem very likely. At most, if the eggs were exposed due to being raided already by a raccoon or fox, then maybe another turtle would grab one - but like I said - a RES is not going to be on land looking for food and definitely not digging up other nests. The snapping turtle (my favorite herp - I miss them) story is cool, though, because I'm not sure why it was out of the water either. The nest must have been that close to the water and the turtle knew they were there - snappers are smart and I used to find them VERY far from water sometimes, even when it wasn't nesting season...........

I hate raccoons. One climbed a 6 foot chain link fence that surrounded my turtle pond and bit off the legs and heads of my Mississippi Maps back in '03 and I agree with Hubbs that everyone should be sporting those hats..........

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 12th, 2014, 9:40 am

Most CA pond turtles evolved in a non-raccoon world. The other native predators never were abundant enough or smart enough to do widespread damage to them. The raccoons are a fairly recent problem due to so many people and all the trash people leave around. And ditto to what Marc said about eggs. But, if you believe the sliders dig up nests or eat the young turtles, go get some photo proof of it and write a paper.

Anyway, my point is not that I'm against removing sliders, I just feel they are a lower priority than bass, bullfrogs and raccoons.

User avatar
MarcLinsalata
Posts: 562
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:50 pm
Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by MarcLinsalata » July 12th, 2014, 1:32 pm

You know that I'm not a Cali native so forgive my stupid question but weren't the bass always present in WPT waters? If not, then how did they get there? Hubbs, you stomp around NJ enough to know that we're full of bass AND bullfrogs AND raccoons in basically every single body of water but you know there is no shortage of turtles there no matter the species. Is it because WPTs don't reproduce at the rate that the East Coast turtles do.....? :?

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 12th, 2014, 3:12 pm

I have only stomped around NJ once...but I see painteds in Midwest waters too and all I can figure is that the bullfrogs and baby bass are kept in check by water snakes, and the painteds lay more eggs. However, you never see as many painteds in large lakes that have bass. They prefer the smaller lakes, ponds, marshes and streams where bass are probably absent or not as prolific. Bass are not native to the West. CA F&W put them there, and continue to stock them in lakes. Private pond owners also stock them for fishing. CA seems to have nothing that will eat a lot of bass. CA also seems to have few species that will eat bullfrogs, although I saw one Valley garter devour a baby bullfrog in Colusa county last month and I caught another that had recently eaten one or two, so that's good news. I wonder if the giant garters will eat bullfrogs...? Hanna?

Image

Valley garter with baby bullfrog in belly (they were the only kind of frog in that small pond, and I watched it eat it)

User avatar
El Garia
Posts: 720
Joined: October 20th, 2011, 3:39 pm
Location: Santa Clara Co. , CA

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by El Garia » July 12th, 2014, 3:12 pm

in the genus, Micropterus, which includes the largemouth bass and the n.a. sunfishes, only the smaller sacramento perch naturally occurs west of the rockies. they max out at about 16 in., whereas the largemouth can weigh 25 lbs or more. also, bass are pretty well suited to any body of water. so far as turtle predation goes the only native fish that would have preyed upon juvie pond turtles would be very large sac. perch, salmonids, and squawfish. impact on wpt young would have been minimal.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 12th, 2014, 3:21 pm

I also saw a WPT feeding on a dead Squawfish in a Shasta county creek, so I guess it goes both ways sometimes...

Image
sorry about the pic quality...it was, well, dusk...and my camera couldn't take a good pic from the distance I was at in dim light.

As for painted turtle clutches, wikipedia (I know, I know...) says:

"Females can lay five clutches per year, but two is a normal average after including the 30–50% of a population's females that do not produce any clutches in a given year."

Western painteds average 11.9 eggs per clutch, while Eastern painteds average 4.9 per clutch. According to wikipedia, WPTs lay 5-13 eggs per clutch, but a wild-caught captive I once owned in the 1980s only laid 2 eggs, so I question those numbers. I believe WPTs normally lay only once a year. This might be the big difference, as well as the bullfrog densities in CA being much higher than in their home range, due to the lack of predators.

My Spotted turtles will breed and deposit eggs (2 or 3 at a time) up to 5 times a year.

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by monklet » July 12th, 2014, 8:23 pm

El Garia wrote:the largemouth can weigh 25 lbs or more
Largest bass I'm aware was a Florida strain at Lake Castaic, in SoCal, but that's been topped by one in Japan at 22.311 pounds. Of course those are always gravid and heavy with eggs. The GA record has always been dubious, so not including that, although this link does ...[ur]http://www.sdfish.com/top-25-biggest-la ... ver-caught[/url]

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 12th, 2014, 9:14 pm

. I wonder if the giant garters will eat bullfrogs...? Hanna?

In answer to your question yes they do; especially the tadpoles. And in turn, bullfrogs will consume gigas The lead field technician caught one in a minnow trap that regurgitated a carp that was just about as long as the snake. It was a source of amazement that it was able to swallow a fish so large. They seem to prefer tadpoles to adult frogs but will consume both. They REALLY like inland silversides (Atheropsid). I have caught several that regurgitated this species. Silversides, like bass,crappie, blue gill, carp, and bullhead catfish were introduced to California. So at least the GGS has an appetite for non natives.

User avatar
El Garia
Posts: 720
Joined: October 20th, 2011, 3:39 pm
Location: Santa Clara Co. , CA

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by El Garia » July 12th, 2014, 9:24 pm

We're flirting with a derailment, Brad :lol: but those are IGFA records, only. At her largest recorded weight, "Dottie" from Dixon Lake weighed in at 25 lbs 1 oz. She was never submitted for IGFA recognition because she was foul-hooked. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2014904/posts

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by monklet » July 12th, 2014, 9:44 pm

Well, for snake's sake, wtf do I know? ;o

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 13th, 2014, 3:16 am

El Garia wrote:the practice of fangsheng (the releasing of captives, in hopes of receiving good karma) is a major cause for the growing numbers of invasive turtles in the bay area

fangsheng is no secret among rangers and naturalists in my community, but its rarely (if ever) mentioned in our media.
here's an article where they explored finding solutions, where fangsheng could be practiced in an eco-friendly way (i have my doubts) http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles ... ect-update
I photographed that occurring at a park in LA County, and sent the photos to F&W as well as posting them on this forum (back before the crash). The family was releasing 6-7 adult red-eared sliders all at once. F&W actually said they wanted to use them for ranger education.

In Bangkok, the ponds and lakes are just full of turtles released for such purposes, with non-native RES being the most common species. On the other hand, it's hard as heck to find a naturally-occurring native turtle in wild habitat anywhere in Asia.

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 13th, 2014, 3:20 am

klawnskale wrote:Places like Lake Machado have probably been void of pond turtles for decades,

Lake Machado has been devoid of anything native for decades in terms of fauna. In this instance, I was referring to Lake Machado as a popular repository for fangsheng turtles; not the presence/absence of Western Ponds.
Do any chorus frogs breed in the surrounding marsh? I swore that I had heard/seen them once upon a time, but I never was able to verify it in my repeated trips back.

It's amazing/frustrating that all those bullfrogs and water snakes and non-native fish can tolerate that water, but not the native stuff. At least the more land-loving native snakes are still hanging on.

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 13th, 2014, 7:25 am

Do any chorus frogs breed in the surrounding marsh? I swore that I had heard/seen them once upon a time, but I never was able to verify it in my repeated trips back.

During all the times I worked there i never heard chorus frogs. It is hard to imagine that species could survive the bullfrog population in that lake. By August when the metamorphs were appearing along the shoreline it looked like one of the Ten Plagues . The densities were unsettling. Even though the water quality is poor, (I was told there is still a layer of old residual DDT settled on the lake bottom) a lot of migratory waterfowl utilize Lake Machado as a feed stop due to the abundance of food. Bitterns, egrets, night herons, blue herons, green herons, red winged blackbirds ,teals, grebes, cormorants and terns all use the lake. I know avid birders like to visit it frequently, so the lake is still serving in some positive capacity.

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 13th, 2014, 8:55 am

I've enjoyed the wading birds there too. Best place I've seen in SoCal for night herons. I think it's the only place in SoCal that I've seen a bittern too.

I wonder if the gopher snakes and kings eat any of the frogs? There are probably plenty of rodents there for them either way. It'd be cool if someone is able to document a king there eating a water snake.

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 13th, 2014, 10:33 am

It'd be cool if someone is able to document a king there eating a water snake.[/quote]

Haven't witnessed predation from other snakes, but I did witness a red tailed hawk grab and fly off with a big plump female Nerodia in the ludwigia (yellow primrose) next to the shoreline while I was about to land my kayak. Ofcourse, I entered it as data in my field sheets.

RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by RobertH » July 13th, 2014, 10:39 am

Funny you talk about Lake Machado right now because we went there last weekend and the whole lake was fenced off for a total wildlife restoration project. We went looking for wall lizards instead.

Nicholas

User avatar
MarcLinsalata
Posts: 562
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:50 pm
Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by MarcLinsalata » July 13th, 2014, 2:12 pm

RobertH wrote:Funny you talk about Lake Machado right now because we went there last weekend and the whole lake was fenced off for a total wildlife restoration project. We went looking for wall lizards instead.

Nicholas
Yeah - they started that awhile ago and I think it's a 3 year project. That lake was perhaps the most disgusting body of water I have ever witnessed in my life - and THAT is coming from someone who spent his whole life seeing the filthiest bodies of water in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area. Machado was absolutely disgusting..............

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 13th, 2014, 2:59 pm

Yeah - they started that awhile ago and I think it's a 3 year project. That lake was perhaps the most disgusting body of water I have ever witnessed in my life - and THAT is coming from someone who spent his whole life seeing the filthiest bodies of water in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area. Machado was absolutely disgusting..............[/quote]

Then be glad you never had to wade through it for 3 months while working. I did and I am still surprised I never got sick or sustained any type of infections. I accidentally cut my fingers a couple of times on the minnow traps and exposed my blood to that water. To this day my bloodwork shows no sign of infection. One of my coworkers did get an infection on his wrist because he sustained a bat ray sting from fishing and went to work the following day. The day after work his hand blew up like a baseball and he had a fever. Then again, having worked with all kinds of exotic animals for many years exposed me to different zoonotic pathogens; so I think I went into that job with a sound immune system.

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 13th, 2014, 9:43 pm

I'd heard about the restoration project for a long time. Good to see steps being made to go through with it.

I assume the central pieces will include dredging the poisonous mud out of the whole thing, and digging out all the invasive vegetation? I assume taking as many water snakes and bullfrogs out as they can in the process.

I imagine that it would be possible to make the lake, or at least the surrounding marsh and/or canal, a good habitat for chorus frogs and pond turtles again. Maybe even western toads too. That alone would be awesome if they desire to do it. But in my dream world they really clear it out well, and then bring back red-legs/red-sided garters someday.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 14th, 2014, 5:35 pm

It will be a good project for the reasons Jonathon listed, but they are also destroying a lot of kingsnake habitat at the same time. It will be interesting to see if the snakes survive the "improvements" :roll:

User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2432
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by chris_mcmartin » July 14th, 2014, 6:28 pm

Hubbs' fashion sense (coonskin cap) made me think of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfMUwCKtWMI

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 16th, 2014, 8:01 am

Brian Hubbs wrote:It will be a good project for the reasons Jonathon listed, but they are also destroying a lot of kingsnake habitat at the same time. It will be interesting to see if the snakes survive the "improvements" :roll:
:lol: :lol: :lol: The well researched assessment of Brian Hubbs; respected trained ecologist on wetlands delineation and habitat restoration :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 16th, 2014, 8:08 am

To be fair, he called it a good project for the obvious reasons that there's way too much invasive vegetation there and there's a lot of poisonous mud that would really be nice to see go. Doesn't take much of a wetlands biologist to see that those are two major factors which this project should address.

As far as the kingsnakes...difficult to disagree that the stuff they're tearing into is kingsnake habitat. Since Brian left open the question of whether they'd survive the process or not...I don't see why he deserved to be mocked. I doubt the average respected trained ecologist on wetlands delineation and habitat restoration would be able to give a definitive answer on that question for such a small population in a small area.

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 16th, 2014, 10:33 am

As far as the kingsnakes...difficult to disagree that the stuff they're tearing into is kingsnake habitat. Since Brian left open the question of whether they'd survive the process or not...I don't see why he deserved to be mocked. I doubt the average respected trained ecologist on wetlands delineation and habitat restoration would be able to give a definitive answer on that question for such a small population in a small area.[/quote]

The habitat surrounding Lake Machado is all ready highly altered and impacted. The kingsnakes that are present who have managed to adapt to the area
I believe will preservere. The snakes were existing around homeless encampments. Some of the resident homeless guys occasionally told me about a king or gopher snake they would happen upon. They also informed me about you, Jonathan describing you as "the blonde kid who rolled up his pants and took off his shoes and socks and ran into the lake to catch a snake". If there were boardlines , the person who put them there will just have to put them in there again. I am all for trash clean up. Bravo! They are dredging the lake and not doing much to the terrestrial environment except removing what shouldn't be in a thule habitat.

Image

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 17th, 2014, 9:36 am

Ha - they still remember me! It gave some people a kick to see me actually willing to go in that water, not to mention catch the snakes. The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History has me to thank for their locale Nerodia samples.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 17th, 2014, 12:27 pm

You're a brave man Jonathan...

As for the cleanup...it is true they are screwing up some of the screwed up habitat that the kings inhabit, but I hope they get rid of all the homeless people too. A lot of them took our boards to make houses out of...damn lazy drug addicts...don't get me started on the homeless people... :x

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 17th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:You're a brave man Jonathan...

As for the cleanup...it is true they are screwing up some of the screwed up habitat that the kings inhabit, but I hope they get rid of all the homeless people too. A lot of them took our boards to make houses out of...damn lazy drug addicts...don't get me started on the homeless people... :x
I think it is time for you to let go of that possessiveness carried over most likely from your past wanton collecting days. Because you lay boards down on any piece of land does not mean it is your property. I truly believe in this instance it is more personal violation formulating your opinions rather than a sincere interest for the snake's welfare. Let it go, Brian. The snakes are not your possessions or part of your personal collection (or are they potentially?) Then maybe the so called environmental concerns you publicly express will be regarded with more merit. And in answer to your question' yes the homeless encampments are going to be cleared. But do you think after all those hours utilizing manpower to clean it up will be left open to public access?
Highly doubtful. Expect more restrictive fencing to preserve the cleaned up, restored habitat.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 17th, 2014, 2:57 pm

Actually, they weren't my boards...but I know who put them there. The only boards I ever had anything to do with burned up in a fire started by homeless people. The only reason I am concerned and the reason the people who put the boards there are concerned, is because that is a small, isolated population of snakes, that if wiped out, has nowhere to recruit from. It contains several different pattern morphs. I have not been there in a few years, but i get reports from the people who record the different kings they see and who monitor what is going on. Get off your high horse and stop thinking everything people do is for selfish motivation. Is that how you are? Is that why you associate so much with that mentality? I've been having pleasant conversations with you so far Hanna for a long time, don't make this a flame war because of your ego...If you did as much research and field study on things as you do attacking people on forums you might know a little more. And if you ever read one of my big books cover to cover you might understand me a little better. Maybe you need to see a counselor about anger issues...you seem to have many. My anger issues stem from the plight of the animals, yours I'm not so sure about... :roll:

Post Reply