Protecting Martha: Ensuring Safe Nesting for Turtles at Pine River

Martha the turtle.

As we all know well at Pine River, no two work days are ever quite the same.

Meet Martha. Her appearance digging at the edge of the campus driveway recently shifted Program Coordinator Brendon McGrann’s morning duties earlier this month as he set up a safety area around her nesting efforts.

Martha is well-known on campus, having made this similar journey from our pond for more than a decade. Apparently, roadside silt and gravel are easy to dig in, and exposure to the sun’s warmth keep the nest warm. But it can also be a hazardous choice for both the mother turtle and her eventual hatchlings, given the risk of passing cars.

So, Brendon’s keeping an eye on things for Martha and another turtle, Jessica, who recently constructed her nest nearby.

Program Coordinator Brendon McGrann set up a safety zone around Martha the turtle.

“We’ll be watching for our turtles to hatch naturally sometime late August or early September,” said Brendon.  “And we’ll try and help them make their journey to the pond safely.”