Michael Marchand: (603) 271-2461
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
December 3, 2018
CONCORD, NH – Although New Hampshire’s spotted turtle population is now hibernating, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is already planning its outreach and field strategies for the coming spring in support of these reptiles.
“The Nongame Program’s 2018 December appeal will help fund the initial stages of research necessary to develop the New Hampshire Conservation Plan for the spotted turtle—a state threatened species. This research and associated conservation planning are critical next steps in order to effectively implement priority recovery actions,” said Michael Marchand, who supervises the state’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program.
The spotted turtle is one of the Granite State’s smallest turtles, and is identifiable by its smooth black shell which is accentuated with yellow spots. Often found in shallow fresh-water areas such as marshes, bogs, vernal pools, and woodland streams, spotted turtles also use upland terrestrial habitats extensively while moving among wetlands during periods of inactivity in response to high summer temperatures, and while searching for nesting sites.
Monitoring activities are a high priority for this spotted turtle project because they will allow biologists to identify important sites, evaluate threats to those populations, assess the status of spotted turtle populations over time, and determine necessary conservation actions.
“I am extremely enthusiastic about our planning for the spotted turtle because our multi-year effort to protect Banding’s turtles began with the same systematic planning and outreach. Biologists with the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program have found Blanding’s turtles in key habitats in the state because of consistent financial support from people who care about wildlife and wildlife habitats. We now know that New Hampshire is home to almost 40% of the Blanding’s turtle populations in the Northeastern United States,” explained Marchand.
The N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as thousands of insects and other invertebrates. The program relies in part on private contributions to accomplish its work, and to raise matching funds required for state and federal grants. Learn more at www.wildnh.com/nongame.