UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Building a Box Turtle legacy

Most people who live the Southeast have come across a box turtle at least once in their lives. But the population of the Eastern Box Turtle, North Carolina’s state reptile, is on the decline.

Two UNCG researchers, Senior Lecturer and Lloyd International Honors College Faculty Fellow Anne Berry Somers and Professor Emeritus Catherine E. Matthews, have worked for more than a decade on developing conservation literature specifically focused on the box turtle. In 2006, Somers and Matthews published “The Box Turtle Connection: A Passageway into the Natural World.” It was a guide for resource managers, herpetologists, nature center directors, and citizen scientists that would help direct their work on box turtles. The book has been used widely by teachers, environmental educators, scientists and agency personnel working to keep box turtles thriving across their native habitat.

“The Box Turtle Connection: Building a Legacy,” just released for free download, is a new edition that includes updated research protocols and information about the Box Turtle Connection Project in North Carolina, a long-term research study that concerns the present and future status of box turtle populations. In the book are new techniques and new sections about gardening, mowing, health concerns and determining the health of box turtles. The new edition includes sections by guest author Sandy Barnett and the added editorial help of recent UNCG graduate student in biology, Ashley LaVere.

“Box turtles have been an important part of our ecosystems for a very long time,” reads their introduction, “and we hope that with the aid of research like ours, they will be around for a long time to come.”

Free download for “The Box Turtle Connection: Building a Legacy”