May 12, 2011
Veterinarians with the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo have teamed up with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program to do full health testing on bog turtle individuals to see if they can resolve the mystery.
"We're conducting a broad screening in order to identify a cause or causes for the increase in bog turtle deaths," said Dr. Bonnie Raphael, W's Department Head for Wildlife Medicine. "This information will be used to help determine if these recent losses are attributable to infectious disease, environmental perturbations, or other factors."
Found in the Eastern US, bog turtles are listed on the IUCN Red List as Endangered. At most these tiny turtles grow to about 4.5 inches in length.
A bog turtle in its natural habitat. Health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo are working with state and federal wildlife managers to determine why bog turtles are dying in higher numbers than usual. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society.
A researcher collects data on a bog turtle during a recent health assessment of the species in New York and Massachusetts..
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