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Service Biologist Trisha Crabill removes a snapping turtle from a hoop net trap. Photo courtesy of Theresa Davidson/USFS.

Service Biologist Trisha Crabill removes a snapping turtle from a hoop net trap. Photo courtesy of Theresa Davidson/U.S. Forest Service.

Missouri students have a close encounter with native herptiles

With help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, some Missouri students had a close encounter with native reptiles and amphibians. Earlier this season, Service biologist Trisha Crabill teamed up with the Forest Service to help students on a field trip on the Mark Twain National Forest for the Ecological Society of America’s SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Diversity, and Sustainability) program. The SEEDS program offers students an opportunity to engage in ecological experiences that help deepen students’ understanding of ecology and potential careers. On this trip, students learned about land management on the Mark Twain National Forest.

To demonstrate amphibian and reptile diversity within the Western Star Flatwoods, traps were set out the previous day to allow students to get a first-hand look at a variety of species. The most frequently encountered species were central newts, southern painted turtle and common snapping turtles. Despite their attitude (or possibly because of it), the snapping turtles elicited the most excited response from the students.

SEEDS is the flagship education program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities for underrepresented students to participate, and to lead in ecology.
 

By Trisha Crabill
Columbia Ecological Services

Central newts were captured in minnow traps during the outreach event. Photo Credit: Trisha Crabill/USFWS.

Central newts were captured in minnow traps during the outreach event. Photo Credit: Trisha Crabill/USFWS.

 

Last updated: December 6, 2016