Yamhill County property owners are being asked to help search for a rare Pacific Northwest native reptile: the northwestern pond turtle, also known as the western pond turtle. Funded in part by a grant from the Oregon Zoo Foundation, the Northwest Ecological Research Institute survey is seeking Yamhill County properties with streams, ponds or wetlands that might harbor the small turtles.
Yamhill County has the fewest documented reports of turtles in the Lower Willamette watershed, impeding conservation of this species in this area of its range. Using a combination of visual encounter surveys and hands-on trapping, biologist Laura Guderyahn will lead a team of community volunteers to map where turtles live.
“We’ll be looking for turtles on public and tribal lands throughout Yamhill County, but to get a more complete picture of where they live, we’re hoping a few Yamhill County residents will allow us to survey their private property,”