The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reporting a high number of western pond turtle “rescues” by concerned Californians and is asking us all to kindly leave turtles where they are.
It is important to keep in mind that a turtle away from water is not necessarily a sign of distress. Many well-meaning people that come across our turtle friends worry when they see them away from water, when actually; these traveling turtles are known to trek away from water to nest.
While acting with good intentions, removing a western pond turtle from its habitat could create a negative impact on the turtle’s ability to successfully reproduce and survive in the future. According to Laura Patterson, CDFW’s Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Coordinator, “They are shy animals and sensitive to human disturbance.”
If you come across a turtle on the watershed that you believe is in distress, please notify MMWD aquatic ecologist Eric Ettlinger at (415) 945-1193. Do not touch or remove the turtle!
Remember, “If You Care, Leave Them There!”
| Western Pond Turtles at Phoenix Lake