Blackstone Parks Conservancy

!5MinuteFieldTrips presents a six week program for 12 kids ages 7-12 at Blackstone Park.  For further information please click here.

Snapping Turtles

 

The Leviathan of York Pond. Photo by Karen Longeteig

There are at least two mature snapping turtles (Chelydra sepentina) in York Pond, probably weighing between 10 and 35 pounds.  Snapping turtles like shallow ponds or streams, fresh or brackish.  They eat plants but also hunt and eat fish, frogs, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

When about 20 years old, the female leaves the water to find sandy soil in which to lay 25 to 80 eggs. Lots of other animals will hunt and eat the eggs or baby turtles, but once they are a certain size, they have few natural enemies, and may live to about 100 years.

In winter they hibernate in mud although sometimes they can be active even under the ice, being remarkably cold tolerant.  They will usually just swim away if approached by humans in the water. Pollution, overcrowding, or disturbance can drive them to travel long distances overland in search of new habitat.  They are feisty when on land and it is wise not to approach them. Turtles have such long necks that they can turn their heads and bite you. (Gleaned from Wikipedia)

The snapping turtles are out and about! They have been laying eggs in nests made on land, and we have also been seeing them as they move between the pond and the Seekonk River.
PLEASE do not touch or handle the turtles.  They move surprisingly fast and could give you a very bad bite. Plus in this Conservation District it’s illegal to harm or remove wildlife.
Thank you!

What can dragonflies and other macro invertebrates tell us about water quality? Find out and make a dragonfly from natural materials. Explore the park and look for dragonflies, ducks, turtles, and more. Watch out for poison ivy, ticks, and mosquitoes and maintain 6 ft. of space with your group and others.

This event is free but limited to 12 people. Registration, masks, and social distancing required. One family member checks in for supplies and you will get a marked area in the field to make your craft. Bring something to sit on.

At Blackstone Field, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Rd. aka River Dr., Providence, RI 02906). Check the 15 Minute Field Trips Facebook page for weather updates.

To register for please click here.