Student, Faculty Research Project Studies Turtles in Local Wildlife Refuge
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
What are the characteristics and size of the turtle population at Philadelphia's John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania? Saint Joseph's turtle expert and animal behaviorist Scott McRobert, Ph.D., professor of biology, and two SJU students have embarked on a long-term study to find out. The researchers are surveying all turtle species, but of particular interest is the red-eared slider population, considered an invasive species in Pennsylvania. McRobert and his students, a Summer Scholar and biology graduate student, received permission to capture, mark and release these turtles back to the refuge to better understand the effect they may have on native species, like the state-threatened red-bellied turtles.