Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Volunteers needed for turtle study in Alafia River

This request from George Heinrich, who has spent decades studying turtles in Florida:

Volunteers needed to assist with a distributional survey of Suwannee cooters in the Alafia River (Hillsborough County)

This project has four objectives: 1) to determine the distribution and status of the Suwannee cooter in the Alafia River, 2) to assess habitat conditions related to the species’ ecology (e.g., basking, feeding, and nesting), 3) to identify conservation actions needed to address any existing threats (including habitat restoration needs), and 4) to offer hands-on field experience and training in wildlife research methods to local college/university students, as well as volunteers active with local parks/preserves. Volunteer opportunities include:

Saturday, 21 February 2015 (9:00 am-5:00 pm) and Sunday, 1 March 2015 (9:00 am-5:00 pm):

Distribution of “sightings wanted” fliers in neighborhoods along the Alafia River. We will need a large number of volunteers to complete this task. Volunteers will work in teams to deliver fliers to homes and local businesses. Volunteers can work partial or full days and are strongly encouraged to carpool. Transportation required.

January-December 2015 (dates to be announced):

Binocular and spotting scope survey from identified sites along the river. One person per month will be needed to accompany George L. Heinrich on this day-long task. It will include hiking up to two miles at one location. Transportation provided.

March, April, May, September, October, and November 2015 (dates to be announced):

Shoreline survey to search for Suwannee cooter carcasses, skeletal material, and signs of nesting. Volunteers will work in groups during partial or full days and are strongly encouraged to carpool. Transportation required.

Sound interesting? Contact George L. Heinrich by e-mail george@heinrichecologicalservices.com or phone (727) 865-6255 .

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