Last Turtle Surveys of the Year Completed in Texas

by Heather Lowe– 

The last sampling trip of the year for the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG) took place at Comal Springs (New Braunfels, Texas) from November 7-9, 2014. Longtime NAFTRG members Eric Munscher, Jessica Munscher, Stephen Ross, Chris Collins, Brian Bower, and Jessy Wayles were aided by new volunteers Nicole Salvatico, Mike Hillman, and Chelsea Bathrick during the three-day sampling trip.

Sternotherus minor minor Hatchling

A total of 406 turtles, representing four species, were captured. A surprising 217 Musk Turtles (Sternotherus odoratus) were captured during this event, with a staggering 139 coming from traps alone!

Principal Investigator Eric Munscher took a break from sampling on Saturday, November 8, to give a presentation on the Comal Springs project at the Texas Herpetological Society meeting in San Marcos, Texas. The presentation was well-received and eight volunteers from the meeting (including a professor and three students from Sul Ross University) attended the sampling event the next day. Overall, this event was a fantastic way to end 2014, which had been dubbed NAFTRG’s “Year of the Volunteer.”

Future sampling dates are always available on the TSA website for those that are interested in volunteering. Questions? Please feel free to contact Eric Munscher.