Eastern Vernal Pools, Moore’s Swamp or Great Meadows? That is the Question

Kachua and Kame – reunited!

We have a decision to make regarding Kachua.  Dr. Windmiller is allowing us to decide where she will be released on Saturday, June 23rd.  If we want her to have a turtle tracker, she will need to be released at Great Meadows or at the Eastern Vernal Pools.  If we don’t want her to have a tracker, she can be released at Moore’s Swamp.

Based on what you know about the habitats at these  locations, please write a persuasive paragraph about where you think Kachua should be released.  You should use an elaborated paragraph template, complete with your FREDS, say mores, and a so what at the end.

Great Meadows

Mrs. Erickson at one of the Eastern Vernal Pools

Moore’s Swamp

Headstart found at Great Meadows July 2011


Posted on June 3, 2012, in Blanding's turtles. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I think that Kachua should be released at Moore’s Swamp. To begin with, there is better food there. In the swamp, there is more food, with more nutrients for the turtles. Secondly, Moore’s Swamp produces heavier turtles. If you look at turtles weight data comparing the two places, Moore’s Swamp has turtles that weigh much more. Although, Kachua won’t get a tracker. Most people would think this was a bad thing, but I think it is fine that she doesn’t have one. She will just go on to be a normal turtle, and, if we can’t catch her anyway, there’s no point. Also, Yertle and Lynn-D have both been released there, and are fine. When Dr. Windmiller tracked them, he picked up a signal for both, so they are both living and healthy (being the fact that they both swam quickly away). At Great Meadows, Mrs. E said that there isn’t much water there. If there is mostly mud, there isn’ t much water for Blanding’s turtle food to live in. Overall, there is pros and cons in Kachua being released in both places. She will live good in either place, but I think she’ll live great in Moore’s Swamp.

  2. This was really tough to answer because of all the possibilities in each different place, but I think overall Kachua should be released at a vernal pool. First of all, we can track her in a vernal pool. You can’t track her at Moore’s Swamp. If we can “catch” her, we can take measurements of her and weigh her so that scientists have data and everything like that. Also, in vernal pools there are food. There isn’t really a lot of food at Great Meadows because of mud, and mud means not a lot of water for Blanding’s turtles food to live in. Additionally, the data says that the turtles in vernal pools are about as heavy as the turtles in Moore’s Swamp, so there must be a lot of food in vernal pools. Finally, I am confident about vernal pools being a great place for Kachua because of all I have learned about them this year: they have great food, it’s a good nesting place, etc. I’m sure Kachua would do great in either a vernal pool, Moore’s Swamp, or Great Meadows, but I think she should be released in a vernal pool.

  3. ec 15 (formally ec16)

    Personally, I think that Kachua should be released into Moore’s Swamp. First of all, data proves that the turtles currently living at Moore’s Swamp are heavy and healthy. This means that their is a humongous quantity of nutrition at Moore’s Swamp. If we release Kachua there I am sure she will turn out to be exermely healthy. Secondly, Moore’s Swamp is provides a home to many other animal species, including Blandings Turtles. So, Kachua will not be lonely. She will always have lots of company. In addition to that, there are better nesting areas there.That is good because the chance of predators finding the eggs is not likely then. She might not have to even travel far to lay her eggs in a great habitat like this, so her chances of getting killed are low. Next, Moore’s Swamp consists of great hiding places. Kachua can always bury herself in the muck, dive under fallen trees, camouflage with foliage, etc. Similarly, these hiding place help Kachua escape from predators. She could easily dive under some fallen tree and the predators will never be able to find her. With all this evidence don’t you think Moore’s Swamp is a great place to release them?

  4. I think that Kachua should go to Moore’s Swamp. The first reason I think that is because she will have better chances of survival. This is because predators will have a harder time finding her in the swamp and mud. Another reason I think she should go there is (I know this sounds crazy) so no one will track her (like I said…) The next reason that she should go to Moore’s Swamp is because the swamp is abandoned, and no one ever bothers or wants to go back there, so no people will find and possibly scare or hurt her. And because the swamp is protected, she will be as well. The final thing is because of the beaver dam. That makes a great habitat, and will be helpful in making her more comfortable. So, I think that Kachua should be released in Moore’s Swamp, because it is the safer of the two places.

  5. I think that Kachua should be released in Moore’s Swamp. I think this because there is a better food source for Kachua to eat. At Great Meadows the water has dried up in the past so there may be less food for turtles to eat if this happens again. Another reason why Kachua should be released in Moore’s swamp is because even though Kachua won’t have a tracker she might have a better survival rate. I think this because even though I didn’t know the turtles from last year, Yertle and Lynn-D have survived at Moore’s swamp even though Dr. Windmiller wasn’t able to catch them and put a new tracker on them. Also, they seem healthy. At Moore’s Swamp nesting will be a better environment for Kachua to hopefully nest hatchlings. Like I said before the survival at Moore’s swamp has a higher rate due to a better food supply and more nutrients. Also, like I said Yertle and Lynn-D have had a successful year at the swamp. I have never been to Moore’s but Mrs. Erickson says that Moore’s swamp doesn’t have a lot of people around. I think it’s good they have a low human population because people could disturb the nests and then turtles will want to move somewhere else and the turtle population could change. My answer is that I think Kachua should be released in Moore’s Swamp for different reasons including survival and a better life.

  6. I think we should release Kachua in Great Meadows because it will be a bit easier to track her and we get to track her so we can see if there are any hatchlings from her, so next year the district can maybe get some turtles from Kachua. Then there is food, it may be easier to find food so she doesn’t starve to death but right now I think no food for a few days may be a good thing since Kachua is a bit over weight. But then there is prey, and there may be more animals that eat turtles at Moore’s Swamp then there are at Great Meadows. And I don’t want Kachua to get eaten by any animal. But there is also nature. There may be more nature at Great Meadows then there is at Moore’s Swamp and turtles might need nature to live a long happy life. Last but not least there is safety. Turtles aren’t always seen on roads and Moore’s Swamp is close to a lot of roads so she might not be very safe at Moore’s Swamp. And yes Great Meadows is near roads but they might not want to get anywhere close to there. So I think we should release Kachua in Great Meadows.

  7. ec10 (formerly ec4)

    I think that we should release Kachua in Great Meadows so that we can track her and catch her more easily. And anything about the food and how the turtles do there does not matter a whole lot, because her mother was in Great Meadows and she did fine there and I don’t think that Kachua will have a problem because of her size and how well we have prepared her. And because it is a place with people studying the wildlife I think that her nests will be spotted and better protected. And because of us Kachua will not be disturbed by the people there and might even enjoy it. Also there is a larger population of animals so there is less of a chance for her to get eaten. There is also more space for laying eggs at Great Meadows. This is why I want Kachua to be released at great meadows.

  8. I think Kachua should be released Moore’s Swamp. One reason we should put her there is because there is always water there. At Great Meadows the water sometimes dries up so the turtles won’t be able to get food from the water. Another reason is that the turtles at Moore’s Swamp are generally heavier than turtles at Great Meadows. Data that Dr. Windmiller gives us proves the turtles are heavier at Moore’s Swamp. Also, Lots of people go to Great Meadows to bike or walk around. If somebody sees a turtle and picks it up it could harm the turtle or the turtle could bite. If Kachua is released in Moore’s Swamp we won’t have to worry about people harming her because very few people go there. Furthermore, the turtles are very safe in Moore’s Swamp. When Dr. Windmiller was tracking Yertle and Lynn-D he knew where they were but the water was so deep he couldn’t get them. Coyotes are a predator of the turtles. As far as I know, coyotes can’t dive under water so I think the turtles are pretty safe from predators. This is why I want Kachua to be released in Moore’s Swamp.

  9. ec13 formally ec7

    I think that we should release Kachua at Moor’s Swamp for a couple reasons. First, I think that she is a healthy, aggressive turtle that will do perfectly fine by herself without anybody finding her and checking in. She is already the queen of the tank so I think that she’ll do fine in the swamp. I also think that she should go to Moor’s Swamp so she has more space. She probably would do better in a bigger environment knowing how big she is and how much she likes to explore around our classroom. Lastly, I think that it would be cool if she got to meet Lynn-D and Yertle. I don’t know if turtles have friends but if they did, it would be cool if they were. It doesn’t really mean much to me where she goes but if I had a choice, I would want her to go to Moor’s Swamp.

  10. ec21 (formally ec17)

    Despite how popular Moore’s Swamp and Great Meadows are as head-start release sites, I think that we should release Kachua in an Eastern Vernal Pool. To begin with, vernal pools are rich with a variety of food. They consist of all sorts of nutritious life forms. There is plenty of both aquatic life in the pool as well as loads of non-aquatic life available along the pool’s perimeter (and unfortunately, sometimes in the water) for Kachua. Plants and animals alike live all around this habitat. In addition to that, the winter moths are easier here. During the winter months, turtles bury themselves under the cold surface. Luckily, vernal pools are rather moist so digging will be much less difficult for Kachua. For a related reason, camouflage will also be easier. To avoid predators, Blanding’s Turtles camouflage in the ground, pressed against the mud. With the mud moist so that Kachua will practically sink into it and much debris to hide her, our turtle will definitely survive against predators. Proved by my observations, Kachua enjoys basking in the UV light of her tank. And while they do have a fair amount of trees, the vernal pool that I observed in Cousin’s field had plenty of space free of shade. Like in her tank, vernal pools have different levels of water. On any given day, if you go out to a vernal pool you may notice that the outside perimeter is much less deep than the middle of the pool. In Moore’s Swamp, the water levels are much less predictable and since Kachua is used to it that way in her tank, that is the best way to keep it. Overall, an Eastern Vernal Pool has really won its medal due to the general climate, landscape, life forms, etc. This is an extraordinary wetland.

  11. Although all three of these choices would be a great place for katchua and it is a really hard decision, in my opinion I think that the best place for her is at moores swamp. First and foremost she will not have a tracker. This is bad for most turtles but I think it is good for katchua not to have one because if we relies her in moores swamp we would not be able to find her anyway and she is really heavy already so the tracker would just weigh her down more and that would make it harder for her to catch fish and things that are faster than her. Another example is that there is more places to hide. When there are more places to hide then she can keep away from prey and have a nicer winter so that she will not get too cold that it is hard to move. Third, Moores swamp has not as clear of a path to the road. If it is hard to find a way to the road than she has a less likely chance of getting hit by a car. Next, there is more food at moores swamp. Last year Great meadows was low on food and katchua is used to a steady diet so that would be very hard on her. Last, one con about putting her in moores swamp is that she will not be with the rest of the Blanding’s turtles so she will have to figure things out on her own because the only two bandings turtles we know of at moores swamp is Yertle and Lynn-D and even if there is more they are not used to being fed in a classroom with a filter in there clean tank. With this information I think that moores swamp is the best place for katchua.

  12. I think that we should release Kachua at Moore’s Swamp because that was where we released Yertle and Lynn-D. Another reason I think we should release Kachua at Moore’s Swamp is because of the food. Kachua is a viscous eater and probably the same way as a hunter. Also, another reason is that Kachua is probably very strong because she is very big and independent. Another reason is that Kachua has really good instincts because I’m not so sure if it is from this year or last year but I remember her trying to dig down deeper into the tank. One last reason is that Kachua is always smart like she always knows what to do and what she is doing. So that is why I think Kachua should go to Moore’s Swamp.

  13. I think don’t know where we should release Kachua this year. Moore’s Swamp would be good because it is overall a better place for turtles than Great Meadows and probably the Eastern Vernal Pools. Moore’s Swamp has bigger, fatter turtles, which is most of the time good for turtles except for in the case of Kame (Although Kachua is already very big). Most people may see releasing her in Moore’s Swamp as a bad thing, but she really does not need a tracker because we already are tracking many other turtles like Yertle and Lynn-D! Another reason why she doesn’t need a tracker is because we can trust that she will survive in Moore’s Swamp because she is already a big turtle. We could also think about releasing her in the Eastern Vernal Pools because it would be an experiment. Because Kachua is already a very large turtle, she has a higher chance of surviving in the wild. We could track her there, and see how well she does and how good the food supply is. But I would not want to release her in Great Meadows because we already have some tracked turtles there and we know that they do not do nearly as well as the turtles in Moore’s Swamp. And it wouldn’t be any fun because we could just expect what is going to happen. So, right now I am thinking we should do Eastern Vernal Pools because we already have a few turtles at Moore’s Swamp and it would be really fun to release her in the Eastern Vernal Pools.

  14. I think that Kachua should be released in Moore’s swamp. First of all, there is a better chance of survival because the are more hiding places such as in the swamp or in a log but at great meadows all you have is the tall plants. Also, the fact that it is ‘untouched’ because nobody goes to Moore’s swamp other than biologists or scientists or people releasing animals. Another reason, is there is a very low chance of construction because it would too hard to build a building or any other constructed site. Besides, it is well protected as a refuge land unlike our Vernal Pool which is not certified yet and is open to danger. In addition, it is a also a beaver habitat which is better for turtles because the beavers build dams which help protect the turtles. So overall, I think that Moore’s swamp would be a better habitat for the turtles.

  15. I think Kachua should be released at Moore’s Swamp∂. For example, Moore’s offers a better life for Kachua. In the wild, Kachua will have a better supply of food and protective cover to find if a predator is nearby. Kachua will also have an easier swimming time and can play with other turtles underwater like hide n seek because of the water depth there. Some people would think Great Meadows would be better just because she can get a tracker but there are many downsides of living at Great Meadows like the numbers of predators and the low supply of food as opposed to the big supply to thrive on at Moore’s Swamp. Another way to show that Moore’s Swamp is a better place is that in graphs Mrs. Erickson showed us it shows that the turtles released in Moore’s Swamp are much fatter (in the good way) and healthier than the turtles at some other locations. In conclusion, even though Kachua will not get a tracker if she is released in Moore’s, it is a much better place for her to live and strive with other head-starts.

  16. My opinion to where we should release Kachua is Moore’s Swamp. For starters, Moore’s Swamp has a better food supply. I mean just look at the weights of the turtles that are in Moore’s Swamp compared to the ones in other places. Secondly, I feel like it is more safe because of all the branches and stuff in the water there is plenty of places to hide in there. Yertle and Lynn-D have been living in there for about a year now and they haven’t died, they are still really active. Also, there is a ton of space where Moore’s Swamp is located. If we release Kachua there she will have plenty of space to swim and some land to walk on. I definitely think we should release Kachua into Moore’s Swamp.

  17. I think we should release Kachua in moore’s swamp because it has a better food supply. It also has a better habitat. It has less predators.

  18. My opinion is that we should release the turtles at Moore’s Swamp. One reason I think this, is because about every turtle we have studied that has called Moore’s Swamp their home, have thrived in the habitat. One of those turtles is Lynn-D, she is still alive today and moving all over. Another reason is that in Moore’s Swamp there is a lot of nutrients. We know this because when we visited Moore’s Swamp, the whole swamp was filled with a lot of plants, animals, and noises, which is a sign of nutrients. Another thing is that, even though the turtles won’t get trackers, I do not think it completely matters. I think this because I would rather have our turtles living a healthy, relaxing life, than have then less satisfied somewhere else even though they get a tracker. Also, the other areas have less water, and that’s not the best thing for turtles. I know this because when we went to visit Great Meadows, I saw that the turtles we were tracking were in mud, and not in water, and in the Eastern Vernal Pools, I know they have less water because vernal pools always change in water depth and that would mean less water. The only habitat with water about all year, is Moore’s Swamp, because it had water in the winter, and summer. One more thing that is good about Moore’s Swamp is that it is probably the most secluded from humans. This can be very good because that means less trash and pollution which can make the habitat healthier. I think that if the turtles go to Moore’s Swamp they will be happier and healthier and these are the reasons why.

  19. I think that Kachua should be released to Great Meadows.
    First, Great Meadows has cleaner water than Eastern Vernal Pools, and Moore’s Swamp. This is great for Kachua because she’ll be able to see better in the water while she’s swimming. Also if Kachua swims in clear, clean water, she’ll be able to see predators that might to attack. Also, if the water is clean, she won’t get sick because there won’t be any germs.
    Second, Great Meadows is larger than Eastern Vernal Pools, and Moore’s Swamp. This is good for Kachua because she can hunt in many places. She can also roam and crawl around Great Meadows for long distances.
    Another reason why Kachua should be released to Great Meadows is because there are a lot of places that have big patches of tall grass, and shrubs that Kachua can hide behind. This is great for her because she can surprise her prey with a sneak attack, and eat them.
    There are also a lot of animals there. This will help Kachua catch a lot of food. It will also help Kachua make many friends, because there will be a bunch of animals to play with.
    And last but not least, Great Meadows doesn’t have a lot of trees, which will allow Kachua to move around easily instead of bumping into and going around a lot of them.
    This is awesome for Kachua, because Great Meadows is probably one of the best wild life refuges that any turtle can go to.

  20. I think that Kachua should be released in Moore’s swamp for many reasons. The first reason is because of the thick layer of mud under water that Kachua can hide in. The second reason is because there is never no water in swamp so they could still swim around. The third reason is because there is a lot of food and plants to eat there so they will never be hungary. The fourth reason is because the turtles at the swamp are so deep in the mud you cannot get them so that means predators cannot get them either. The last reason is because thanks to the data from the swamp turtles grow a lot bigger there so that means they will survive and not be hungary. To close I think Moore’s swamp is a great place for turtles.

  21. Out of a Vernal Pool, Great Meadows and Moore’s Swamp, I think Kachua should be released in Moore’s Swamp. For starters, is because of the danger. When we want to Great Meadows, we saw a Great Blue Heron. This animal could really eat these turtles. Which is bad! Next, there is the tracker device. Since we released Yertle and Lynn D, we have heard and seen them in Moore’s Swamp. They just have not been able to catch them well. I think that is a sign that they are doing well. So Kachua won’t need a tracker. Also, is because of the turtle sizes at Moore’s Swamp. If you look at the turtle data, the turtles are a lot bigger. Which is better for turtles. To finish is, because of people. At Great Meadows, there is a walking path. If the turtles are walking across, they could really get hurt. Unlike Moore’s Swamp. Those are the reasons I think Kachua should be released in Moore’s Swamp overall.

  22. I think that Kachua should be released in Moores Swamp. It is true that Doctor Windmiller won‘t put trackers on her if she is released in the swamp, but it is Kachua we are thinking about, not us. There are a number of reasons that Moores Swamp is most appropriate. First off, she will be safer in the deep water of the swamp. Following our success convincing the town not to open the floodgates, the fallen trees and plants provide prefect hiding places for the Blandings turtles. Also, the lack of roads and predators makes it easier for them to survive. The fact that Blandings turtles are threatened makes it more important for Kachau to be safe, away from roads and predators. Moores Swamp has little interference from humans, which is good for turtles. Secondly, there is more food in the swamp. Aquatic plants are abundant and there is an overwhelming abundance of bugs. Bugs and crayfish are the perfect food source for Kachua. At great meadows the turtles don’t gain much weight and must curl up in the mud for a few months. Third, at Moores Swamp there are both males and females so the turtle population can grow and thrive. Fourth, Moore Swamp offers a large amount of sunlight for the turtles to warm their cold blood. Who are we kidding, this decision is about Kachua not us. I will miss Kaucha but would prefer her safe than tracked. Let’s release Kaucha in Moores swamp with Kaucha’s safety and well being on our minds.

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