Box Turtles Hatching!

Earlier this summer, we had at least three female box turtles lay eggs at CEED. In one case, we knew exactly where the eggs were laid, so we put a box around it to protect it from raccoons and other predators.  Normally, we like to let nature take its course, but box turtle populations are in decline, so we wanted to help out.

When you look at the photo gallery, notice the prominent ridge of bumps on their back. That’s a distinguishing mark for box turtle hatchlings.

As adorable as these hatchlings are, remember they are wild animals and part of our Long Island ecosystem. They live about as long as people, but they only lay a few eggs every year, and these days, too many are killed by cars and lawnmowers, so keep your eyes out for them.

And please don’t move them. Eastern box turtles always try to find their way home, even when moved far away. Also, it’s illegal to keep them without a special permit, so avoid the temptation to take one home.

After these seven little ones hatched, we kept them overnight to protect them from predators and then waved goodbye the next day. They will disperse throughout the forests and fields at CEED and who knows, we might meet them again someday.

Wish them luck!