Sixth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference







Tracking Spotted Turtles Over the Year
Mike Bottini, Long Island Nature Organization


The Spotted Turtle, now listed as a “Species of Special Concern” in New York, was once quite common on Long Island. In 1996, John Behler of the Wildlife Conservation Society initiated a mark-recapture study of Spotted Turtles at a ditched wetlands site on eastern Long Island, and several years into the study he hypothesized that ditch maintenance machinery had inadvertently killed some of his marked specimens. Mike took over the study site and in 2004 secured funding from Suffolk County Vector Control and the Sabin Conservation Foundation to test Behler’s hypothesis. Mike will present the results of his year-long radio telemetry, as well as some interesting natural history facts about this handsome turtle.

Mike received his M.Sc. from the School of Forestry, University of British Columbia, where he radio-tracked 40 collared elk in Banff National Park. His research projects here on Long Island have included salamander and turtle surveys, piping plover monitoring, invasive species mapping, and river otters.