New Publication Promotes Wood Turtle Conservation

A new book, Biology and conservation of the wood turtle, was recently published by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This semi-technical publication is dedicated to the evolution, ecology, biology, spatial ecology, habitat requirements and conservation of the wood turtle. MassWildlife State Herpetologist Mike Jones was the editor coordinating contributions from wood turtle specialists from 13 state fish and wildlife agencies and non-governmental conservation groups. Supported partly through the region state wildlife subsidies, this semi-technical and richly illustrated 235-page publication will be of interest to natural resource professionals and land managers. The wood turtle is emblematic of the cold, isolated and clean rivers from Nova Scotia to the mountains of Virginia. Here in Massachusetts, wood turtles, listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, are found principally in western, central and northeastern Massachusetts. Wood turtle populations statewide have declined due to habitat fragmentation and degradation, illegal collection for organic supply and pet markets, and intensive agricultural cultivation near waterways. MassWildlife is actively working with non-governmental groups, high schools, universities, and cities to stabilize populations and restore habitat for this species.

Supplies of hard copies are limited. To be added to a waiting list and to be notified when an electronic version is available, please email [email protected]

Learn more about turtles in Massachusetts.

Jacob L. Thornton