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Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter, 2000, 3:28
© 2000 by Chelonian Research Foundation

Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter

Requests for Information


Information sought on marking and tagging techniques for terrapins and other small aquatic species. Also who is using visible tags and what do you prefer? The Maryland program is in the second year of a terrapin hibernaculum study and we have three other terrapin population studies underway. We use a three phase marking system: an approved non-vascular notching system, magnetic tags from Northwest Marine Technologies of Shaw Island, Washington, and visible tagging. Our previous visible tagging system is proving to be less than successful with a majority of the recaptures coming back without their pink Floy tags. We have opted for a sea turtle type tag (the smallest monel) attached to the rear marginal scute through a 3/32" engraving bit hole on the non-vascular edge. Blood letting is forbidden in our study. If the procedure draws blood or if the shell material begins to look pinkish we stop. The visible tag is essential as we receive valuable data from the public, particularly commercial watermen and waterfront dwellers. The magnetic tags, which are placed in an undisclosed spot, will prove useful in enforcement cases, i.e. if we discover Chesapeake terrapins in out-of-state food markets, over or undersized terrapins, or terrapins out of season. Notching is good for individual identification. Also, Northwest Marine Technologies, Inc. has donated additional equipment and materials to our program which will allow us to test a subcutaneous fluorescent tagging system. Any thoughts on this technique would be appreciated. Marguerite Whilden, Fisheries Service. mwhilden@dnr.state.md.us

Information needed on Clemmys marmorata. As this information is scarce and mostly in gray lit, I would appreciate any help in finding information or papers related to this subject. If you can help please do so by sending the info to jonstonge@purpleturtle.com or snail mail to Jon St. Onge, 202 Cooper Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA

Request for information on indoor turtle and tortoise enclosures for possible publication. My book “Housing Your Turtles and Tortoises Outdoors” (illustrated guide to outside enclosures from Alaska to Florida, 122 pages, 17 in full color, many black and white illustrations, ISBN 1-888089-49-0 $39.00) is now available through Green Nature Books at http://www.greennaturebooks.com. I want to thank everyone who contributed information, though not every contributor’s data could be included.

I am now working on a book on indoor enclosures for turtles and tortoises. If you would like to contribute information, your help would be greatly appreciated. I need data and photos of the finished pens, any pictures of its construction (if available), a description of the design, dimensions, types of turtles/tortoises housed, and any other relevant information. Please indicate where you live, if the animals are housed outside seasonally, and any notes on how you acclimate your animals when changing locations from inside to outside. I would also need permission to use your information. Though, I can not offer financial compensation, you will be credited for your contributions. I am hoping that this project will result in a publication that will be valuable to others keeping chelonians outdoors.

Please do not submit information on outdoor enclosures. However, if you keep your specimens in greenhouses, or inside “sheds,” for all or part of a year, these setups may be used in a separate chapter (section) of the book. Due to space limitations, I cannot promise every picture or contribution will be used in its entirety (or even be appropriate to include at all), but I want to make this project as comprehensive as possible. I also reserve the right to edit material to best fit the text.

If interested, please contact me, Wayne Labenda, at E-mail: labendwa@crusoe.net. Thanks again for your help!