Wild Box Turtle Nursery at CEED!

Animal Ambassadors, Conservation, Nature Center

Box turtles are in danger throughout most of their range due to loss of habitat and getting run over on roads or killed by farm or lawn-mowing equipment. Long Island is one of few parts of New York that sustain any box turtles, so we’re excited that there are several roaming our preserve land at CEED!

In fact, this year, we believe that three female box turtles have laid eggs at CEED! We know the exact location of one nest and we’re protecting it to increase the odds that the eggs will hatch. Box turtles can live 50-100 years, but they only lay 1-7 eggs at a time, and studies show that most nests are destroyed by predators.  Usually, it’s best to let nature take its course, but predation on box turtle eggs is high in part because of animals that human presence encourages, like raccoons.

We’re hoping that in September we’ll be welcoming tiny box turtles to CEED and then sending them on their way. With a little luck, they’ll be roaming our woods and fields for decades.

If we get any baby pictures, we’ll be sure to post!

By the way, it’s not legal to keep a box turtle in New York without a permit, and they can be difficult to keep alive in captivity, so just observe, and marvel at these amazing creatures.

These photos show three female box turtles we have identified at CEED this year. Each has a different shell pattern. Note the lawn mower damage on the darkest one.

Click on an image to enlarge.

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