Monday, June 8, 2015

Saturday Morning at Deerfield Nature Park

On Saturday (06 JUN 2015), a small group from the Chippewa Valley Audubon Club met at Deerfield  County Park for an outing focusing on reptiles and amphibians.  Cool weather limited the number of animals that were active.  However we did find several Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) and Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica), lots of Green Frogs (Lithobates clamitans), one Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon).  Our best find of the day?


Wood Turtle carapace (upper shell)

That's the shell of a Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta).  The Wood Turtle is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the State of Michigan.  With this designation, the species receives some degree of protection within the state - it is illegal to collect or possess a Wood Turtle.

 "All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - portrait of a Wood Turtle

Isabella County is near the southern edge of its range in the state, but it seems fairly common along the Chippewa River.  I have frequently encountered this species along the Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant.  This individual was located about 20 feet from the banks of the river.  If it was any other species I would guess that it was seeking a place to lay eggs, but the Wood turtle often spends time foraging away from water. 

Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)

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