NEWER POST

Fells Point

OLDER POST

High End Renovation, Glass Elevator, Water Views in Butchers' Hill

Eastern Shore, Schools

Saving Baby Turtles with Towson University

2 Written by: | Tuesday, May 14, 2013 9:51am

northern-map-turtle-closeup-600x399

Photo via Towson University.

 

The Northern Map Turtle’s shell is criss-crossed with fine yellow patterns that resemble contour lines (hence the name). They are “avid baskers.” The female map turtle is five times larger than the male, and while she uses her powerful jaws to crush and eat mollusks, he mostly nibbles on aquatic insect larvae. And in Maryland, these sun-loving, human-shy turtles are endangered due to hunting, pollution, and development  — but not if students at Towson University and the Eastern Shore town of Port Deposit (pop. 653) have anything to do with it.

The partnership between Towson and Port Deposit is an encouraging one, and a model for how universities can leverage their strengths to help communities solve problems. According to Richard Seigel, a Towson biology professor, “typically when you have an endangered species that has habitat requirements within any town boundaries there is potential for conflict and fears that there will be rules and regulations that will hamper the economy. But in the case of Port Deposit, the opposite happened.” The town adopted the turtle as its mascot, won grants to study the turtles’ habits and habitats, and planned a tourist center and pedestrian trail for turtle viewing. “It is one of those rare things in conservation biology where it seems to be working, without any legal actions or any of the things I’m more used to,” Seigel told National Geographic. “We like to brag about it because it’s worked.”

The female map turtle is much bigger than the male. Photo via Towson University.

The female map turtle is much bigger than the male. Photo via Towson University.

Seigel and his students have found that Port Deposit’s map turtles have the highest rate of nesting success in Maryland. Turtle nesting season starts this week and lasts through June 15; if you’d like to wish the turtles good luck, head on down to Port Deposit. For more information about the university-town-turtle partnership, read this.

Leave a Reply



NEWER POST

Fells Point

OLDER POST

High End Renovation, Glass Elevator, Water Views in Butchers' Hill

Most Comments This Week

7

4

Good Riddance, Grand Prix -- Have Fun in Boston!

Written by Rachel Monroe

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:24am

2

Pizza Provides Crucial Clue in DC Murder Case

Written by Rachel Monroe

Thursday, May 21, 2015 11:07pm

2

Protestors Created Gridlock During Morning Rush Hour

Written by Stephen Babcock

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:30am

2

Johns Hopkins Tuition Rises to $63,250 Next Year

Written by Rachel Monroe

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:25am

Recent Comments

reynoldsben
72,000 Ladybugs Released Inside Maryland High School

"You're right about the factors. That's why I said "7,500," not "7,200." I still...

Millicent
Sean Hannity Argues with Baltimore Community Leaders

"As long as we have children having children, and gangs substituting for fathers, and...

Kurt J
Protestors Created Gridlock During Morning Rush Hour

"Jamal's speaking fees go up with events like this. Al Sharpton didn't acquire his...

Kurt J
Johns Hopkins Tuition Rises to $63,250 Next Year

"Even a Hopkins employee would be better off sending their child to UMBC for an...