Stephen Blake believes that when you connect a kid with a turtle—or for that matter any wild creature—magic happens. A visiting scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, (who also works with UMSL the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the St. Louis Zoo, SUNY ESF, and the Charles Darwin Foundation) he studies the migratory habits of wild animals, most recently those of Galapagos tortoises. Stephen, together with, Sharon Deem, Director of the Institute for Conservation Medicine of the St. Louis Zoo, started a project to monitor the health of the box turtles in Forest Park, an urban park in the middle of St. Louis, under the guidance of Forest Park Forever. The movement ecology and health of the Forest Park turtles is compared with that of turtles in the Tyson Research Center, a rural area of 2000 acres of woodland on the outskirts of St. Louis. The scientists have drawn students of all ages into the project and the woods, using box turtles as ambassadors for nature. They are working to build relationships between young turtle trackers in St. Louis with young people who are working with giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands.
For more information visit gianttortoise.org
St. Louis box turtle project facebook.com/StLouisBoxTurtleProject?ref=hland
Galapagos tortoise movement ecology Programme facebook.com/galapagostortoiseproject?ref=tn_tnmn