OSSINING, N.Y. -- More than 20 conservationists, field biologists, citizen scientists and licensed turtle rehabilitators gathered together at Teatown Lake Reservation for the Northeast Turtle Intensive meeting on Saturday, Nov. 15.
The goals for the event were to provide turtle-specific training and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas regarding turtle conservation.
Experts spoke on various topics, including Natasha Nowick of Turtle Rescue League, who spoke on overwinter care of hatchling turtles by licensed rehabbers; Robert J. Ossiboff of Cornell Wildlife Center, who spoke on emerging diseases; Danielle Tarbert of Cornell Wildlife Center, who spoke on turtle triage 101; Alexxia Bell of Turtle Rescue League, who spoke on long-term care of neurological injury and treating shell avulsions; Kathy Mitchell of New York Center for Turtle Rehabilitation and Conservation, who spoke on treating shell injuries, emerging disease and release suitability; and Erin Baker of Teatown Lake Reservation, who spoke on treating shell injuries, soft-tissue injuries, and ear and eye infections.
“Teatown was proud to host this event on turtle rehabilitation and conservation. It is important for people to realize how threatened turtle populations are becoming,” said Teatown Executive Director Kevin Carter. “Given their low reproductive rate, even the loss of one adult turtle can impact a population,” said Erin Baker, Teatown’s environmental educator and animal care supervisor and turtle expert.
“And turtles have an amazing ability to heal even from severe injuries. If you find an injured turtle, please get it help because every turtle matters toward its species’ conservation, and if you find a turtle crossing the road, move it across in the direction it is facing, do not relocate it or take it home. It is illegal to take wild turtles home as pets.” To locate a rehabber in your area, you can refer online to the state Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s list at www.nyswrc.org or to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s online list at www.dec.ny.org.
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