Apr 10, 2017

Turtles Die in Southern California Lake Following Drought and Fire

Lake Elizabeth, California

Almost all of the turtles living in a southern California lake died following a large fire and years of drought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report published in the journal Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems.[1]

This study is the first to examine the interaction of fire and drought on the survival, behavior and health of a semi-aquatic turtle population. Given the likelihood of increasing drought frequency in California’s future, conservation of the southwestern pond turtle (Actinemys pallida), along with other sensitive aquatic organisms, will become an even greater challenge. The southwestern pond turtle is a California Species of Special Concern.