Departmental Papers (HSS)

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Journal Article

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H-Environment Roundtable Reviews





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On a humid summer evening in 2006, I joined a small team to search for turtles in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which stretches along parts of the Concord and Sudbury Rivers outside of Boston. The team consisted of employees of a local environmental consulting company hired by the town of Concord a few years earlier to study and protect the refuge's population of Blanding's turtles, which had been declining since the 1970s. During the nesting season, employees of the company monitored the turtles' movements, recorded causes of mortality, and set up protective fences around egg-laden nests, which were sometimes plundered by raccoons and dogs. Their monitoring work had revealed that many female Blandings turtles never even got to the point of laying eggs; instead, moving away from the wetlands in search of dry ground, they were crushed by cars on the roads surrounding the refuge. Like most such refuges, Great Meadows was intimately connected to the landscape that surrounded it.

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Originally published through H-Net Commons and can be reused under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND).



Date Posted: 25 February 2019

This document has been peer reviewed.