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Grant Will Help Protect Wood Turtles in VT, NH, MA

Photo Kiley Briggs; courtesy The Orianne Society

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) announced that it has received a new grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) that will help protect native wood turtles.

Wood turtles, which are found primarily in flood plains, are considered a Species of Conservation Concern in the three states (NH, VT, MA) where CRC will focus outreach efforts. IN recent years, the reclusive turtles have suffered declines due to illegal collecting, development, agriculture, and stream alterations. CRC and its partner group, The Orianne Society, will work with federal and state agency partners to find willing landowners and sites that will lead to improving working lands, water quality, and wood turtle habitat in the Connecticut River watershed.

“Wood and spotted turtles thrive in environments with clean water, but they need space to roam on land as well, so improving habitat connectivity between land and water benefits them greatly. This not only helps rare turtles, but also creates habitat for other fish and wildlife, cleanses the water, and improves recreational opportunities. Farm Bill conservation programs also promote agricultural sustainability. Programs like this are a win for everybody,” said Kiley Briggs, Director of Conservation with The Orianne Society.