Marin Water is enlisting the help of community scientists 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. The Turtle Observer program is great for individuals, small groups or whole families. Kids typically make up a third of our Observers!
Volunteers that have not previously participated in the program are required to attend two trainings. As a returning volunteer, you can skip the first zoom meeting if you'd like. The second training is mandatory for anyone who wants to volunteer this year. We hope that all Observers will conduct at least three observational visits this spring. Both trainings will be held on zoom from 9:00 a.m to 10:30 a.m.
Once you have completed the 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.
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 12, 2022, 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, February 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Zoom.