by Admin 

The North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG) recently conducted their annual February sample of the Comal Springs in New Braunfels, Texas. As always, a dedicated team of volunteers made the survey possible.

Comal group day 1

A variety of institutions of learning, research, and conservation represented on this survey included the Houston Zoo, SeaWorld, Fort Worth Zoo, University of Texas-Arlington, Texas State University, Purdue University, Washington State University, SWCA Environmental Consultants, and Power Engineers.

In total, 441 freshwater turtles were captured, processed, tagged and released over three days in the springs. This total represents five taxa of turtles including snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), Texas cooters (Pseudemys texana), stinkpot musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus), and one non-native yellow-belly slider (Trachemys scripta scripta). Of particular interest this trip were the findings of several female red-eared sliders and Texas cooters who were already gravid with eggs in mid-February!

The NAFTRG is the North American field research component of the Turtle Survival Alliance. Email Jordan Gray at jgray@turtlesurvival.org to learn how you can participate in a future survey trip as a volunteer.