Red-eared sliders are commonly sold in pet stores. The native turtle populations are declining and being replaced by Red-eared sliders that have been illegally dumped in ponds.
Our short-term goal is to adopt Mary Lake – working collaboratively to remove debris (trash, discarded fishing line, etc.), erect a fishing line recycling tube, and construct nesting boxes.
Our long-term goals are to increase public awareness of the impact releasing unwanted exotic pets has on the environment, give talks at local schools, and ultimately increase the population of native Western Pond Turtles in our local area, particularly Mary Lake.
One of the first projects we undertook for this campaign was to create "Save Our Turtles" Posters. The goal of this project is to provide students with an opportunity to share their knowledge of native turtles with the general public and thereby raise awareness of threats non-native turtles have on their populations.
We have also begun to create a community map (using Google Map Engines Lite) to document our wildlife sightings.
We will continue to work collaboratively with local resource agencies (Turtle Bay, McConnell Foundation, Parks & Recreation, and the Forest Service) to inform the public by letter writing, posting flyers, and giving presentations at local service clubs.