Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Treehugger Tuesday

Why is America's Smallest Turtle Getting Sick
By LiveScience

North American bog turtles are getting sick, and no one knows why. Researchers are launching a turtle health check-up to find out.

The smallest turtle in North America is getting more and more scarce, and researchers are banding together to find out why.

At 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) long, the North American bog turtle, or Glyptemys muhlenbergii, is the smallest turtle species on the continent. It can be found in marshes across the eastern U.S., but wildlife managers in the Northeast have noticed higher-than-average rates of bog turtle deaths over the past few years, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

BOG TURTLE IN ITS NATURAL HABITAT: Health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society are working with state and federal wildlife managers to determine why bog turtles are dying in higher numbers than usual. (Photo: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society)

Along with state and federal wildlife agencies, WCS is beginning a bog turtle checkup in search of a cause for these mysterious deaths. Researchers will conduct physical exams on wild turtles and take blood and fecal samples for analysis.

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The Bog Turtle is Endangered in New York State.

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