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Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 16th, 2015, 7:08 pm
by Joshmartini941
Hi guys, I've been herping ri my entire life and have never seen a box turtle. I've found just about everything else and last week I found a great hognose location. I'm not asking you to tell me where they are, but simply have you, do you see them? And if so do you have a picture? I'm convinced they don't exist here anymore. I've searched everywhere, but I've never seen one.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 17th, 2015, 6:30 am
by ZantiMissKnit
Joshmartini941 wrote:Hi guys, I've been herping ri my entire life and have never seen a box turtle. I've found just about everything else and last week I found a great hognose location. I'm not asking you to tell me where they are, but simply have you, do you see them? And if so do you have a picture? I'm convinced they don't exist here anymore. I've searched everywhere, but I've never seen one.
I'm in the same boat as you with box turtles, except I'm in Massachusetts. I'm hoping to change that this weekend in Cape Cod! I have been to several places, several times, to look for them, but I seem to not have the proper search image or something. I bet they are in Rhode Island!

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 17th, 2015, 12:03 pm
by Joshmartini941
I just came back from the cape for a vacation, I checked even after a rainstorm and got skunked. They are on the cape for sure tho, my wife used to go there every year when she was little and she showed me pictures her family took of them in dennis right at the beach house they stayed at, there is also a reservation called box turtle hollow in the wellfleet area, worth checking out if you can. Good luck!!!

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 17th, 2015, 12:39 pm
by ebit123
My son told me he saw one in South county. I have a. pic of it that his teacher took, but too confused on how to upload to here. If I can figure it out, will do.

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Posted: August 19th, 2015, 4:51 pm
by craigb
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Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 20th, 2015, 8:03 am
by ackee
They used to be seen regularly on the Cape a long while back, but I suspect road kills and human expansion have depleted their numbers over the several decades that have passed since I spent summers there while in college.

I saw them on occasion on Martha's Vineyard, in the open fields behind Gay Head, back in the 70s, but again expanding human activity and Box Turtles do not mix well.

They once were so common here in NJ than on a morning's drive in central Jersey one could always count on seeing several, many more if it was raining. They have largely disappeared from many areas, but are still common in the more remote parts of the state.

Occasionally I'll encounter solitary old females in surprisingly heavily developed areas because their home ranges are smaller than males and they do not roam during spring mating season. I saw one last summer near a duck pond in one of the most developed and active places along the Jersey shore, less than 100 meters from a busy highway.

I had first seen this old girl more than 20 years ago, and was able to find her again in the same quarter acre of marsh and reeds at the far end of the pond. There is a certain pathos involved in contemplating these relict creatures, isolated from others of their kind, encircled by suburban sprawl.

Historically, Box Turtles were extirpated from huge areas of NY State and parts of New England by Iroquois Confederation nations who used their shells for rattles. In some places, like upstate NY, Box Turtle populations have never recovered.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 20th, 2015, 12:51 pm
by pops
In Klemens book on Conn. herps (1993) he writes that " In RI box turtles occur throughout most of the state but are more common in the lower, coastal regions" He goes on to cite 18 specimens from different collections. His book is great "Amphibians and reptiles of Connecticut and adjacent regions" Good Luck!- dave

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 6:15 am
by ZantiMissKnit
My luck changed this weekend, and we found four yesterday afternoon on Cape Cod!

http://www.naherp.com/vouchers/237554-309040.jpg

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 5:34 pm
by ebit123
Cool! And a bunch!

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 26th, 2015, 3:42 am
by Joshmartini941
That's awesome!!!

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 26th, 2015, 4:00 am
by Joshmartini941
Was it raining? It looks damp in that pic, what a nice color on that one.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: August 26th, 2015, 10:15 am
by ZantiMissKnit
Joshmartini941 wrote:Was it raining? It looks damp in that pic, what a nice color on that one.
Yes, it was off and on drizzling rain all morning.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 9th, 2015, 4:52 pm
by Jimi
Recent article might be of interest to you boxie-loving Yankees:

Erb, L.A. et al. 2015. Detecting long-term population trends for an elusive reptile species. Journal of Wildlife Management 79(9):1062-1071.

It's specifically about monitoring boxies in MA. Interestingly, the mean detection rate was 0.35 or 35% - this was an "occupancy study", so what that number means is, given that boxies are actually present at a site, on average you'd need to survey the site 3 times (with every one of those surveys within the protocol specifications) to prove it - to find one. Mean CPUE was about 0.23 turtles/hour.

Start time, humidity, and to a lesser degree surveyor, were the important variables influencing the parameter "detectability. Having 50% RH gave a detectability of about 20%, whereas >95% RH (like, on and off drizzle...) led to boxie detectability of about 60%. Best time of day was 8 AM with >50% detectability, which declined pretty monotonically to <20% from 3 PM to 6 PM.

Looks like many of their long-term monitoring sites are on the Cape. I wonder if any chapter members were among the field hands?

Anyway, hopefully this leads some of you to track down the paper. It's a good one. And that it improves your surveys, and leads to more data in NAHERP!

Cheers
Jimi

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 10th, 2015, 5:46 am
by tomharten
I don't have any pictures, but I would say that I've seen box turtles every summer for the 30 years when I visit my mom in south county.

Have never seen a hognose there but have turned up Eastern Milksnake and Gartersnake. Also have seen some monster snapping turtles and plenty of painted turtles in the nearby pond.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 12th, 2015, 4:22 am
by Joshmartini941
If anyone is looking for a great hognose spot, check out west Greenwich early in the a.m. the last time I was there I found a hatchling spotted turtle too.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 22nd, 2015, 5:09 am
by ZantiMissKnit
Joshmartini941 wrote:If anyone is looking for a great hognose spot...
Hi, Josh,

Could you please edit your post to take out the specific location? Not everyone who reads these forums is trustworthy. Many of us have learned the hard way not to give out specific locations.

Edited to Add: you can name the county and state, but that's the most specific we get here. It's important to not give away localities because of collectors and/or unethical herpers who may trash a place while looking for certain species.

Thanks!
Andrea/NE Chapter President

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 23rd, 2015, 4:33 am
by Joshmartini941
People suck... I was thinking that if you took the time to come here you actually have respect for these animals.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: September 23rd, 2015, 5:29 am
by ZantiMissKnit
Joshmartini941 wrote:People suck... I was thinking that if you took the time to come here you actually have respect for these animals.
I'd love to think that, too...I'd love to think the the ethics of others reflected my own, but unfortunately they don't. :(

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: June 9th, 2019, 1:14 pm
by Joshmartini941
Found one today.

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: June 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm
by Joshmartini941
Another pic

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: June 9th, 2019, 1:21 pm
by Joshmartini941
And another hognose snake...

Re: Anyone see box turtles in Rhode island?

Posted: June 9th, 2019, 1:23 pm
by Joshmartini941
Ebt