DEC State Wildlife Grant

All good things must come to and end, and, unfortunately this grant has been completed. After three very successful seasons spending time with three amazing species of turtles in Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks we are no longer focusing on this effort. At present, we are in the process of completing our final report, excerpts of which will be posted here once it is finished. However, due to the sensitive nature of the information contained within this report, only very general information can be released. For more information on wood, box, or spotted turtles, please visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's Herp Atlas Project, or contact their offices directly. .


In 2008, HEnRI began work studying the population dynamics of three New York State Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Each of the three species - spotted, wood, and box turtles - are in danger of becoming a state threatened species if their populations are not managed for greater recruitment levels. To that end, we surveyed three watersheds (Queensboro Brook, the Ramapo River, and the Lake Welch/Sebago/Stony Brook) in Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks to ascertain the population levels of each of the three species, locate prime habitat, and radiotrack five females of each species throughout nesting and hibernation.Over the course of the project, 54 individual male and female turtles were tracked and more than 2,000 discreet telemetry points were taken.

This work is currently complete and the final report is being prepared. Preliminary analyses have given us new insights into the habits of these species and will provide a solid baseline from which management efforts can be undertaken. As we move forward with our work to protect and conserve these amazing species, updates will be posted here.


HEnRI would like to thank its fantastic volunteers and the Palisades Interstate Parks League of Naturalists for their tireless efforts finding and tracking turtles. This project would not be possible without their hard work, dedication, and good spirits!

So, thanks to: Tom Cunningham, Steve Sisti, Roger Baroody, Ella Barsky, Pam Golben, Alan and Della Wells, Drew Panko, Trudy Battaly, Carol Weiss, Melissa Gilmer, Jen Conrad, Pat Murray, Amie Worley, Dustin Herrmann, Marnie Miller-Keas, Pete Warny, Erica Nagel, Alti Piirson, and everyone else who spent so much time and put so much effort into this project.


Spotted Turtle In Harriman Park