Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Gal Miss Ally :)

Ok laugh all you want, but I have a pet Turtle :) Yep, even named her Ally. Now I have lived in the county all my life and never had a pet Turtle and don't believe in keeping them in boxes or aquariums but Miss Ally is hanging around my house. She has been here for around 3 weeks now.Everyday we can find her around the foundation of the house or under the shrubs.
I thought she was a he and took a water proof maker naming her Al so that we could make sure it was the same Turtle we were seeing everyday. Sure enough it is. I have been doing some reading about these shy creatures and found out that one way to tell the males from the females is eye color. Males have red eyes and females brown (most of the time). So now Al is Ally :)I ran across some more information I thought was kind of interesting and wanted to share.
Leave Them Be! .....Why?

Box turtles can live for more than 120 years in the wild. They live the longest of all North American Wildlife. They will also live their entire lives in a relatively small patch of woods no larger than a football field. So the more roads that are built that run through these areas, the more box turtles get killed every day.

For a box turtle population to survive, there needs to be plenty of them in a small area so that they can encounter each other and mate on a regular basis. The removal of one turtle decreases those encounters dramatically. Unlike big sea turtles, box turtles only lay 3 or 4 eggs a year, sometimes more on rare occasions. The eggs are then subjected to all sorts of stuff to keep them from surviving. Even if an egg hatches the baby turtle has a very small chance of surviving. Then if a female is able to reach adulthood, she could be able to produce a few hundred eggs during her lifetime. From all those eggs, only 3 or 4 will survive to adulthood. The damage to the population from removing that single turtle will not be noticed during our lifetime.

The problem is that when we remove a box turtle from the wild, we can usually look and see that there are plenty more around in the woods, even 10 or 20 years later. What we don't realize is that we are seeing the same turtles, not newly hatched and grown to adulthood turtles, but older versions of the same ones. So eventually, after we are dead and gone, these turtles will die off because they are unable to produce enough young to replace themselves. Many states now have laws protecting them from the pet trade, but that doesn't stop everyone from taking one home as a pet, and it doesn't stop cars from running them over accidentally.

Many people find them while camping or on vacation. They take it home thinking they'll just let it go in the little patch of woods behind the house. This is another bad thing. Box turtles have a built-in homing device that will make them roam endlessly searching for their home turf. If you can't release it where you found it, don't release it. You now will either have to keep the turtle or see if you can find it a home with someone who can care for it properly. You can contact Turtle Homes They will help you find it a home.

The best thing we can do as individuals is to leave them be, and to try and educate others. If you are so lucky as to see one in the wild, stop, examin it, take a few pictures of it and then let it be on it's way. If you see one in the road, pick it up and put it on the side of the road to where it was heading

4 People said:

Briar Rabbit Primitives said...

Wowzers Pam! Thanks for the great read on Turtles. Very informative. Miss Ally is a Very Cute Turtle BTW! Hugs, Starla :)

~GoldieLoo Woodworks~ said...

LOL...Im a real nerd arnt I? But I was a bit amazed at the info. ;)...Yep we have one sexy turtle LOL.

Patti Gagliardi said...

Your Miss Ally is too cute! We have two pet turtles from a pet rescue - people don't understand how long they live! (I think our two will end up in my will ggg.) They do make great pets, but only via a rescue. As you mentioned, too many are taken from the wild. Believe it or not my sons and I belong to the Chicago Turtle Club - they are popular pets for apartment dwellers, too. Keep us posted on Miss Ally and thanks for sharing and educating!


~GoldieLoo Woodworks~ said...

Hi Patti, please post pictures of your turtles :) Ally is a wild turtle (so to speak). She just "visits" us every day. Its been over 2 months now and we see her every day. I never thought I would have a pet turtle but the hubby & I both have grown fond of seeing her every day. :)~~Pam