St. Louis Box Turtle Project

St. Louis Box Turtle Project The St. Louis Box Turtle Project study the ecology, movement and health of native box turtles in Missouri. Using box turtle as ambassadors, we also provide outreach to inform on the importance of conservation of local species.

Learn about us and the box turtles in our project http://bit.ly/2xioTxk

Learn about us and the box turtles in our project http://bit.ly/2xioTxk

Mission: Take a holistic approach to research on wildlife, public health and sustainable ecosystems to ensure healthy animals and healthy people.

Operating as usual

Interrupted Minkss, one our Tyson turtles, having a late morning snack today and grabbed this photo before she had a cha...
09/02/2020

Interrupted Minkss, one our Tyson turtles, having a late morning snack today and grabbed this photo before she had a chance to wipe the slug bits off her chin. We've found box turtles eating mushrooms, mayapples, earthworms, and more, but the slugs and snails seem to be the messiest food items.

#threetoedboxturtles #terrapene #wildlifehealth #conservationmedicine

So much going on in this post! Dr D checked in on the FP turtles today. They are all much busier right now than expected...
08/28/2020

So much going on in this post! Dr D checked in on the FP turtles today. They are all much busier right now than expected given the hot temps. And they’re not following social distancing guidelines 😳 Note that most of the photos are 3-toed box turtles but one is an Eastern box turtle (EBT) (not native to Missouri). These EBTs are what first made us note the presence of pet drop offs in forest park. They can also hybridize. In the photo you see a tagged 3-toed Jay mating with this EBT that we notched some time ago and found again. Remember to keep turtles wild and don’t take them home for pets.

We have found where all the snappers are hanging out at Zoo North Campus! Pond 6 is full of snappers...and leeches...and...
08/22/2020

We have found where all the snappers are hanging out at Zoo North Campus! Pond 6 is full of snappers...and leeches...and mosquitoes. And only Kim and Keri filled their waders! All in all a great week in the woods! #ilovemyjob #savingturtles #icm @ Spanish Lake, Missouri

Last day in the ponds for these four amazing interns!!! Thanks team for taking on the bitey turtles, gross waders and fo...
08/13/2020

Last day in the ponds for these four amazing interns!!! Thanks team for taking on the bitey turtles, gross waders and for always wearing your masks! Would have been a much harder field season without you. Now go keep saving the world♥️🐢🐢#icm #onehealth #savingturtles @ Spanish Lake, Missouri

Meet Sam, last, but not least of the 4 amazing I M summer interns.        Hello there! My name is Sam Holmes and I am an...
08/12/2020

Meet Sam, last, but not least of the 4 amazing I M summer interns. Hello there! My name is Sam Holmes and I am an extern with the St. Louis Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Medicine this summer. I am super excited to get to be part of the ICM team and participate in a really cool field study. I love the outdoors and am super excited to get to learn how scientists work and how they write about their research. I am a rising junior at Williams College in Northwest Massachusetts and while I am still unsure about my major, I am concentrating (minor) in Public Health and will probably major in Environmental Studies and/or Political Economics. I don’t know what I want to do after graduation, but I am sure that the hands-on field experience and the One Health experience I am gaining with the ICM will help me in whatever career path I chose! @ Forest Park

Meet Grant! ICM intern.  Hey everyone! My name is Grant Aden and I am a rising senior at the University of Tulsa. I am e...
08/11/2020

Meet Grant! ICM intern. Hey everyone! My name is Grant Aden and I am a rising senior at the University of Tulsa. I am extremely excited to be an extern for the St. Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine this summer. I am so thankful to have the chance to work with such an amazing, diverse team that is the ICM. My interest in conservation medicine has come from both my childhood and my previous research experiences. Whether it was watching Steve Irwin documentaries growing up or studying tropical birds in the Costa Rican rainforest, I have always had a passion for conservation. Personally, my goals are to attend medical school in the fall of 2021 and become a physician. My experiences working with the ICM this summer and learning the benefits of One Health Medicine have been eye-opening towards my future. I aspire to be a physician who advocates for One Health Medicine and the balance between human, animal, and environmental health. I believe this balance will become increasingly important over the next decades, especially for specific at-risk populations. Using my basis in One Health Medicine, I aspire to support these communities: treating their health, empowering them with preventative protection plans, and educating them on the importance of environmental conservation.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/health-science-environment/2019-12-17/pet-adoption-could-harm-forest-parks-box-turtles-r...
08/08/2020

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/health-science-environment/2019-12-17/pet-adoption-could-harm-forest-parks-box-turtles-researchers-say. Before the time of Covid, Eli Chen with STL public radio did a story on our box turtle work and came to see where one of the box turtles was hibernating. Pumpkin is a box turtle living in Forest Park and his name came from the dark orange color of his face. Pumpkin’s radio-tag died over the winter and we couldn’t find him. Yesterday the team walked his Forest patch again to see if we could find him. Shocked us all when Bennett found little pumpkin mating with a notched box turtle who is also part of the study. Success!!! 🙌🏽🐢 @ Forest Park

We are officially half way through the ponds at the zoo north campus!! 5 down and 5 to go. Today we packed up from the s...
08/05/2020

We are officially half way through the ponds at the zoo north campus!! 5 down and 5 to go. Today we packed up from the sunny and easy to access golf course and hiked into the woods to sinkhole pond #8. This site has more frogs than I’ve bet seen! The frogs are a nice balance to all these turtles. #onehealth #slbtp #internsmaketheworldgoround @ Spanish Lake, Missouri

These student are as good as it gets!! The ICM interns checked in on forest park box turtles today, braving the rain. Aq...
07/31/2020

These student are as good as it gets!! The ICM interns checked in on forest park box turtles today, braving the rain. Aquatic or terrestrial, we study em all!! And they met Theo Smith with #forestparkforever out doing his habitat restoration. I can’t count how many box turtles Theo has found for us working in the park! @ Forest Park

Here is our next summer intern!!!     Hi everyone! My name is Madeleine Thompson and I’m an extern with the Saint Louis ...
07/29/2020

Here is our next summer intern!!! Hi everyone! My name is Madeleine Thompson and I’m an extern with the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine this summer. I am really excited to be a part of the ICM team and experience the amazing work they do first-hand! I have always loved nature so I’m thrilled to be expanding my passion for the environment and conservation into a One Health mindset. Currently, I am a senior at Saint Louis University studying Biology on an Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation track. After graduation I plan on getting my Master’s in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. With this, I hope to one day continue furthering conservation efforts, protecting wildlife and wild places for future generations!

07/28/2020

Look at that gorgeous beast - hasn't changed in 40 million years because why mess with perfection?

Each summer we highlight our wonderful students. And during this crazy year, we are lucky to even have interns with the ...
07/24/2020

Each summer we highlight our wonderful students. And during this crazy year, we are lucky to even have interns with the ICM. Meet Bennett, a long-running member of the ICM team. We’re incredibly lucky to have Bennett back for the summer. Hello everyone! My name is Bennett and I am a fourth year veterinary student at the University of Illinois doing a research externship with the ICM. I actually have interned with the ICM before I started veterinary school back in the summers of 2016 and 2017. My experiences back then greatly influenced my career goals and the type of veterinarian I want to be. I am so excited to be able to work again this summer on the Saint Louis Box Turtle Project and also be doing health evaluations on aquatic turtles at the new Saint Louis Zoo North Campus. The hands on experience with field research and local wildlife are extremely beneficial in my education of One Health. After graduation I am planning on working for a few years in clinical veterinary medicine then possibly pursuing further education in public health and epidemiology.

07/18/2020
Wilcox tentatively re-emerges from his shell

Spent a little extra time at Tyson yesterday sitting quietly and watching Wilcox re-emerge from his shell. Getting a glimpse of the world from a box turtle's point of view is one of the joys of this work.

Our dedication to conserving turtles and tortoises goes beyond the field. Less glamorous photos maybe, but the lab work ...
07/17/2020

Our dedication to conserving turtles and tortoises goes beyond the field. Less glamorous photos maybe, but the lab work is essential. And yes, in conservation, resourcefulness when funds/supplies are low is key🤣🤣🤣

It was an amazing day in aquatic turtle land at the zoos north campus. First day for ICM interns, Dr. Mogerman, NC direc...
07/02/2020

It was an amazing day in aquatic turtle land at the zoos north campus. First day for ICM interns, Dr. Mogerman, NC director, came out to the field - as did our program manager Kathy!!! Kathy, not typically a field person, learned to love leeches! We met a red-tail hawk sitting right outside the building, and Dr. Brenn-White is currently giving students a clin path tutorial #shesagreatteacher. The summer field season is officially a go! Even though for The ICM team it started months ago. @ Spanish Lake, Missouri

It’s nice to be back with these box turtles this morning after a few weeks of working with aquatic turtles. Minkss box t...
06/26/2020

It’s nice to be back with these box turtles this morning after a few weeks of working with aquatic turtles. Minkss box turtles doing well! She is our heaviest tagged turtle at 825g. Maybe with eggs? Can’t tell because she was doing what box turtles do best. 📦 🐢

Today was one of those really good days in the field with amazing animals and amazing people!! #keepemwild #onehealth #c...
06/10/2020

Today was one of those really good days in the field with amazing animals and amazing people!! #keepemwild #onehealth #conservationmedicine #stlouiszoo

Enjoy! Keep em wild!! #stlouisboxturtleproject #galapagostortoiseproject #saintlouiszoo #onehealth
06/09/2020

Enjoy! Keep em wild!! #stlouisboxturtleproject #galapagostortoiseproject #saintlouiszoo #onehealth

Yesterday was a busy day for our turtle team. Tyson box turtle health assessments all morning then aquatic turtle survey...
06/03/2020

Yesterday was a busy day for our turtle team. Tyson box turtle health assessments all morning then aquatic turtle survey at north campus all afternoon. #ilovemyjob #stlouisboxturtleproject #gianttortoisemovementecologyprogramme #onehealth #conservationmedicine #savingturtles @ Washington University Tyson Research Center

Forest Park box turtle health assessments done ✅ #stlouisboxturtleproject  @ Forest Park
05/30/2020

Forest Park box turtle health assessments done ✅ #stlouisboxturtleproject @ Forest Park

Thanks to Galapagos Conservation Trust for supporting our work to ensure the health and conservation of the giant tortoi...
05/30/2020
Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme - GCT

Thanks to Galapagos Conservation Trust for supporting our work to ensure the health and conservation of the giant tortoises of the Galápagos! Our sister project of the St Louis Box Turtle Project!

GCT has been supporting the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme since its inception in 2009. Find out more about the project here.

Tyson turtles enjoying the post-rain sun. We were supposed to do their health assessments today but in true STL weather ...
05/28/2020

Tyson turtles enjoying the post-rain sun. We were supposed to do their health assessments today but in true STL weather form, we were fooled by the early morning rain and postponed till Monday. Maris took these beautiful shots while doing weekly checks instead. @ Washington University Tyson Research Center

HAPPY WORLD TURTLE DAY!! We may have our favorites, but we love them all! Be kind to turtles, leave em wild. #stlouisbox...
05/23/2020

HAPPY WORLD TURTLE DAY!! We may have our favorites, but we love them all! Be kind to turtles, leave em wild. #stlouisboxturtleproject #gianttortoisemovementecologyprogramme #worldturtleday @ Saint Louis Zoo

05/20/2020

Congrats graduateS!

05/20/2020

So happy for all the ICM alumni who have graduated this year or moving into a new role!

05/20/2020

Congrats graduates!! So many ICM alumni moving to their next chapter!

05/13/2020
Saint Louis Zoo

one of our videos we captured at North Campus

This spring was scheduled to be the much-anticipated launch of an intense multi-season biodiversity census at the Saint Louis Zoo North Campus. Although the project’s methods have been adapted due to COVID-19, important data is still being collected through remote cameras, acoustic recorders and direct observation, all while following strict social distancing requirements. The information collected will help Saint Louis Zoo scientists understand the diverse mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates living and migrating through this area. #BringTheStlZooToYou

Freddy!!!!
05/12/2020

Freddy!!!!

Some bird species seem to be very attracted to Freddy's telemetry antenna! It would be very helpful if the hawks of Alcedo Volcano could assist us by carrying the antenna around the crater to find the tagged tortoises!

This Project is a collaborative effort between the Galapagos National Park Directorate, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Charles Darwin Foundation, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Box Turtle Project, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Houston Zoo

It could not have been a more beautiful day at Tyson today! Hiking down what we call “Mum’s ridge”, beautiful but very s...
05/07/2020

It could not have been a more beautiful day at Tyson today! Hiking down what we call “Mum’s ridge”, beautiful but very steep, we ran into this guy. Meet Anthony, Dr. Tony for short. Named after one of our favorite infectious disease doctors. The newest tagged turtle at Tyson @ Washington University Tyson Research Center

05/06/2020
Saint Louis Zoo

Another one of the icm teams project!!

Spring has arrived at the Saint Louis Zoo North Campus! Though most of the Zoo’s team is working from home, Zoo scientists are continuing to collect data from afar. We have camera “traps” hard at work collecting photos and videos so we can document and better understand the diversity of native species at this site. So far, we know that deer love the cameras, but we spot the occasional coyote and turkey passing by or checking out the camera.

Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme
05/06/2020

Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme

Cows and giant tortoises in Santa Cruz Island share the same freshwater sources.

#OneHealth #Galapagos

This Project is a collaborative effort between the Galapagos National Park Directorate, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Charles Darwin Foundation, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Box Turtle Project, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Houston Zoo

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Comments

One of your boys? He was out for a stroll near the Muny. Amazing color on this one.
I have a red foot tortoise, since you guys are experts, I wanted to ask a question...is there a length of time turtles will die from being turned onto their backs?
The project needs dogs! ;)
Let's get some dogs!
I came across my Wash U symposium presentation from the first few months of the Box Turtle Project. I'm sure a lot as changed since then! The photo in the bottom right is from our first outting with kids from the community.
buena presentacion!!
news from Galapagos
Congratulations to Sharon Deem for featuring in yesterday's New York Times in article about connections human and veterinary medicine! Yah!!!!
Hello! I found a box turtle hibernating in my yard back in February. It came out when we had some sunny warm days in March and now she's in another spot by some logs, but hasn't moved much from there. Looks like a big adult with ~6in shell. I'm not planning on taking her as a pet or disrupting her activities, but I wanted to see what I could do to "help" her, as in, put out some collard greens, watermelon, tomatoes? Water at ground level for her? Pile up some grass clippings through the summer so by winter there is somewhere for her to burrow in? There are dogs on the other adjoining yards, so I want to help make her habitat in my garden helpful if at all possible! I live in Dogtown and have been working to get rid of honeysuckle/wintercreeper in my yard and finally put 20+ native flower/bushes in for the pollinators this year. I tried looking online for ideas on how to "help" the turtle, but I couldn't find anything. Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you for your time and the work you do on helping these beautiful animals! 🐢😍