April 01, 2010 by Matthew Bettelheim
The Pacific Coast of North America has only one species of native turtle: the western pond turtle. Just 80 years ago, a naturalist found more than 100 of these creatures thriving along an unremarkable stretch of a local creek. Today, a similar survey turns up a fraction of that, as natives compete with plentiful escaped pet turtles and other exotics. But a new conservation plan could tip that balance, and public awareness, back in the western pond turtle's favor.