Citizen Science and HerpMapper save turtles

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Chris Smith
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Citizen Science and HerpMapper save turtles

Post by Chris Smith » July 13th, 2014, 12:16 pm

Concerned citizens, Washington Co. Parks, Washington Conservation District, MNDNR, HerpMapper, UMN, and MN Herpetological Society joined forces to protect turtles, including the state threatened Blanding's Turtles.

Here are some photos from an experimental turtle underpass project. The project is using ACO barricades and silt fencing to funnel turtles (and other critters) to the underpass.

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"J-hook" to redirect critters to the underpass.
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The J-hook is working! In situ painted turtle.
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Boreal Chorus Frog found along the fence.
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Northern Leopard Frog along the fence.
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Close-up.
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Some press:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IjTCp6ddtc

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... oad-people

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Don Becker
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Re: Citizen Science and HerpMapper save turtles

Post by Don Becker » July 15th, 2014, 4:44 pm

What is the long term plan for replacing the the silt fence? I don't imagine they plan on having that up permanently.

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Chris Smith
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Citizen Science and HerpMapper save turtles

Post by Chris Smith » July 19th, 2014, 10:45 am

Don,

We are still discussing the long-term details. The silt fence has several benefits over the ACO brand barrier. To name a few...

1) Cheap.
2) Very easy to install (highway dept has a special machine).
3) Can be removed during the winter if necessary (to avoid impacting snowmobile traffic.

The ACO barrier does "look" nicer, but it was a pain in the a#$ to install. It is also somewhat "cheap" seeming, and it is tough to create an impenetrable barrier for small things like snakes, frogs, salamanders, etc. (lots of gaps because of uneven ground and the rigidness of the product).

This project is very experimental, and we plan to continue to adapt / modify as we continue to observe its efficacy.

-Chris

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