Marin Water is enlisting the help of Turtle Observer volunteers to protect the western pond turtle by monitoring habitat conditions, recording their behavior, and educating the public during the spring when they are most visible. Volunteers will collect valuable data on native and non-native turtles that will help determine the management of these species.
Turtle Observers visit the watershed to observe the turtles between the months of February and May. Volunteers that have not previously participated in the program are required to attend trainings.
We will teach volunteers how to identify the different species of turtles known to inhabit the lakes, get instructions on observation and data recording protocols, and practice strategies for communicating with the public.
Our Turtle Observer training is two parts. The first meeting is an educational session that is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the western pond turtles and what is being done to protect them and the natural systems on Mt. Tamalpais. The second session is mandatory for anyone who wants to be a Turtle Observer volunteer this spring.
- Part I: Turtle Observer Educational Session will discuss the importance of wildlife conservation, the kinds of turtles on Mt. Tam, and why you should become a community scientist. This first meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday, February 27, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Part II: Turtle Observer Technical Training will cover monitoring protocols, turtle ID, and COVID safety precautions. This will take place on Saturday, March 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Zoom.
This is a great family activity! Once you have completed the two trainings you may visit the watershed at any time to view the turtles. There are several locations where the turtles swim and they are most visible on nice, sunny days. An hour is usually enough time to search for, observe, and record a population of turtles. We hope that all Observers will conduct at least three observational visits this spring.
Please contact us at email@example.com or 415.945.1128 to register for the Zoom trainings.