The Big Turtle Year Update #13

Species #43: Striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii)
Location: Booker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida)
Date: 10 July 2017
Post by George L. Heinrich

Chloe holding species #43 for The Big Turtle Year, an adult female striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by Andrew Farren.

Chloe holding species #43 for The Big Turtle Year, an adult female striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by Andrew Farren.

I have taught a series of engaging herpetology and wildlife ecology camps at three nature preserves located in the Tampa Bay region of Florida for 16 consecutive summers. These popular hands-on, science-based camps are designed for children (ages 7-11) with a strong interest in nature. The goal is to provide an opportunity for them to explore Florida wildlife and wildlands, and instill a sense of environmental stewardship. This summer, our campers are searching for turtles as part of The Big Turtle Year. An adult female striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii) found by camper Chloe became species #43. Other turtles observed by the children and camp staff included a juvenile common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), hatchling Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox), and several gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus).

George L. Heinrich talking to campers about striped mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by Andrew Farren.

George L. Heinrich talking to campers about striped mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by Andrew Farren.

Profile of an adult female striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Profile of an adult female striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii) at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

A second kinosternid species, a juvenile common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), was also found during the Herpetology Camp at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

A second kinosternid species, a juvenile common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), was also found during the Herpetology Camp at Brooker Creek Preserve (Tarpon Springs, Florida). Photograph by George L. Heinrich.