For 15 years, Turtlebrook Farm has worked with biologist and researchers, dedicated to preserving and growing an endangered turtle population, native to the farm's habitat. Portions of every sale go to continuing this mission for our population and other endangered turtle populations across the country. Be a part of something bigger. Help us help them.
Strength in numbers
by Bridget MacDonald
Saving a disappearing wood turtle population in New Jersey required recruiting more turtles, and more partners
On a spring night in 2007, Kurt Buhlmann sat on an overturned five-gallon bucket with a headlamp and a pair of binoculars, looking for wood turtles emerging from a streambank and clambering toward an adjacent farm field to nest.
When he spied one of the rare reptiles, he would intercept it, carry it to the other side of a stream — onto Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge property — and place it on a low mound of dirt he and refuge staff had built up as an alternative nesting area.
...Shortly afterward, refuge neighbor Tim heard a knock on his door. “Kurt introduced himself, and explained they were tracking some turtles, that had wandered off of the refuge” he said. Tim and his wife Marsha own nearby Turtle Brook Farm, which contains habitat suitable for wood turtles.
Tim and his wife Marsha, refuge neighbors, have worked with scientists for more than a decade to identify land-management opportunities that will help improve habitat for wood turtle. Jared Green/USFWS
“We’re happy the refuge is there — it’s part of the reason we bought this property — so we wanted to do whatever we could do to contribute,” Tim said.
The scientists found several more turtles that year — both males and females — and several nests, which they covered with cages to protect the eggs from predators like raccoons...