RE: NANFA-- Alligator Snapping Turtle

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 17 Feb 2000 08:25:59 -0800

Katrina said:
> I just took at class about amphibians and reptiles in the state
> of Washington. A
> horrifying fact I learned is that the Western Pond Turtle used to
> be Washington's
> only native turtle, and its numbers are reduced to 12 (yes
> twelve) in the Puget
> Sound area, and a total of just over 200 in the Washington and
> Oregon areas (primarily near the Columbia River).

I was curious how they know exactly how many of these turtles live in Puget
Sound. I found out it's because they're all captive-bred releases.
Recently there were none of the turtles in Puget Sound. The ones there now
are from the Columbia River basin population. There's a story on this at

How about this sentence: "Several captive-bred turtles were recently
released in a pond near south Puget Sound. They have adapted well to their
new home. This success is an encouraging first step in the effort to restore
a western pond turtle population in the Puget lowlands, where the species
used to be common." "Adapted well"? What does that mean? They stayed in
the pond? "Encouraging"? 12 turtles in 2 protected ponds?

> Bull frogs eat young turtles, but the primary
> reason is loss of habitat -- Washington's policy of yes, private
> people can own
> all shoreline in the state - lakes, ponds, salt water all of it.
> Amazing. katrina

An endangered turtle isn't halting this development one bit. It's a land
grab and everyone wants their piece. In addition to the waterfront
development everywhere, anyone who has lived here for more than 20 years can
tell sad tales of the thousands of acres of Puget Sound wetlands that heve
been filled in and developed. Now it's suburbs and industrial parks and
shopping centers.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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