Turtle Logs

Top Photo: Three of five sets of new turtle perches in Wetlands.

With our changing wetlands and growing turtle population, basking perches for our resident turtles are at a premium. As old snags and logs that used to be in the wetlands rotted and decayed it’s become tough for a turtle to find a place to sun itself. It’s sometimes a tight squeeze for our aquatic turtles.

Yellow-bellied sliders crowded together.
This rock can get quite crowded on sunny days.

A half a dozen years ago, I tossed in a 10’ pine log and anchored it to the bottom with a cinder block. It was about a foot in diameter. It lasted a season or two before it sank to the bottom. You can still see it from the Main Wetlands Overlook when the water’s low.

My log usually held only one turtle at a time, rarely two. The problem? When one turtle tried to climb aboard as another basked, the log would roll, knocking the basker into the water. The solution, lash two or three smaller diameter logs together to minimize roll.

Three logs lashed together.

Thanks to our crack exhibits team, specifically Tech Jill and Fabricator Andrew, that’s exactly what happened. We now have five sets of logs ready for turtle basking.

Jill (left) and Andrew.

Here’s some photos of our new turtle perches.

On a cloudy day.
And when the sun came out (Note hooded mergansers at the end of the line).
Mergansers sharing logs with turtles.
A satisfied slider enjoys the sunshine.
Turtles take to the logs while the geese take over the boulder.

The turtles seem to have taken to their new basking logs with a vengeance.

Loving the logs.

1 response to Turtle Logs

  1. Gary Phillips says:

    I really love the idea of lashing logs together. I am extending a wetland on our property and surrounding it with areas optimized for nesting of 2 endangered turtle species.

    The full project will include about 35 acres and is adjacent to a 1000 plus acre marsh.

    I have been looking for information on the best logs to float for turtle sunning.

    Just wanted to thank you for the ideas.

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