SOS: Save Our Turtles!

SOS: Save Our Turtles!

From Carolyn Hill

Turtles of Western Highway -- a partner of the Hudson Valley Humane Society -- is an all-volunteer community group. We work to protect the Snapping Turtles -- essential to preserving water quality -- in our reservoir.

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Turtles of Western Highway is raising funds to install a very special fence along the 1/3 of a mile on Western Highway where Snapping Turtles customarily cross the road to lay their eggs.  This fence is designed especially for turtles (with a lip at the top, so they can't climb over) to keep the momma turtles on the reservoir side, so that they don't cross Western Highway and get crushed by traffic.  This fence will cradle and protect the 27 nesting mounds that volunteers have built to encourage the mommas to lay their eggs on the safe side of the street.  The cost of building the fence is reduced because volunteers in our community will donate their labor.  But it will still cost about $15,000.  We know that fencing works -- with the temporary, fabric fence we used last year, we saved 162 baby turtles, and reintroduced them to the reservoir when they were mature enough.  Now we need a more permanent and sturdy structure that is esthetically pleasing and does not require constant monitoring by volunteers.  Your generous contribution will not only protect these fascinating and adorable creatures; you will protect your own clean water supply -- reservoirs without Snapping Turtles quickly deteriorate.  The Snapping Turtle population in Orangetown and Clarkstown is already dangerously diminished.  But we are working hard to change that, with the help of many area businesses, Suez, the Hudson Valley Humane Society, and the Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation in Poughkeepsie.  Please join this exciting campaign and be an important part of SOS: Save Our Turtles!

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