Thursday, May 9, 2013

Look Out For Turtles!

It's that time of year again.  From now throughout early summer female turtles will be wandering out of their ponds in search of suitable nesting sites.  Unfortunately, many of our reptilian friends must cross roads in order to do so.  Picking up a painted turtle and helping it cross is one thing, trying to tackle that task with a snapper is a whole other story.  DON'T BE DISCOURAGED!  There are ways to assist snapping turtles that are safe for both you and the animal.  If you are the type of person who finds themselves pulling over for random oval objects (and the occasional turtle) in hopes of scooting it safely along look below for a great video on the subject:

For more information on reptiles and amphibians check out the Stokes Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles by Tom Tyning.  Tom spoke at our recent Earth Day screening of Division Street and will be a guest speaker at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival on August 3rd talking about the "Fabulous Snakes of the Northeast".

Burnell Property Protected!

Aton Forest closed on the 60.5 acre Burnell property inholding on Tuesday, May 7th.  This project was initiated decades ago by Frank Egler himself and we are happy for these long term efforts to finally come to fruition!  With this new addition Aton Forest is comprised of over 1250 contiguous protected acres in the northern hill country of Connecticut.  Acquisition of the Burnell parcel was critical in preventing the possibility of development from penetrating the heart of the preserve.  Not only is it strategically placed, but ecologically significant.  The parcel lies uphill from Knox Swamp, home of a number of important species, and also hosts a tributary of Sandy Brook for the length of the property.  A trail has already began to be cleared following an abandoned logging road through the parcel ending at the stream.

This purchase was made with the help of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, who provided an interest-free bridge loan.  Aton Forest is currently raising funds to pay off this loan within the allotted year.  See map below for an idea of how the new property fits into the preserve: