Today I went on a walk for about an hour along the Aliso Creek. I had gotten reports on a specific area that turtles had been seen there. Immediately I sprang into action! I rushed over to the spot and began my search. Immediately I noticed that this particular area of the trail was not as crowded as the other parts. I also noticed the abundance of possible nesting sites for turtles, compared to the relatively low amount in some of my other survey spots. This area was more forested than the others and definitely more secluded. As I weave my way around a forested bend I notice a large pond, which is getting the majority of its water from a large cement overhang that acts as a dam. I walk slowly down the rocks until I reach the bottom where I am met with the sound of sloshing mud beneath my feet. I trudge along the muddy bank for another 50 or so feet, reaching a cement slope. I climb this slope carefully and slowly, watching for any wildlife that may appear. At the top of this overhang is a dip in the sand that goes down about two feet. A fence circles this dip. I jump across the small dip and shimmy across the fence to an opening that gives way to the main path. I keep walking on my search for a turtle, or a sign of a hibernating one. I descend another set of rock steps onto a mud bank beneath a noisy bridge. I sit for a few minutes observing the shallow water. I leave my perch on the sand bank and walk along a new mud slope, this time much closer to water, and much more dense with flowers and reeds. I continue along this path for a good 300 feet. The reeds begin to rise. In no time at all the reeds have reached my waist. Then my shoulders. Then my head. Now I am completely surrounded. I trudge on through the mud and reeds finally reaching a clearing. I wait and watch the water for any sign of turtle. There is nothing. I climb back up the rocks and walk along the road to my original spot near the pond. As I turn the corner around the cement dam, my eyes light up. Turtle! A red eared slider darts underneath the waters surface. As I leave the creek with my observations and notes, I am greeted with the sensation of a successful day in the field.
The Aliso Creek Turtle Rescue has been together for a few years. For a long time we had yearned for a site that allowed us to report, and let othes report, turtle sightings in the Aliso Creek. After a long search we finally found just the right site!
Inaturalist is a website designed to allow citizens to report sightings of animals all over the world. We discovered this site in February of 2016 at a science symposium. Our organization started using this site in March of 2016 to record turtle sightings in the Aliso Creek. So far we have recorded a substantial number of turtles in the creek. We want to let you know that you can use this site too! It is a public website designed for anyone, and we would really appreciate it if you got it. This would not only aid in our studies, but would also allow others to learn that California's Aliso Creek is home to various species of turtle. You will have to sign in to the website, as it is somewhat like Instagram or Facebook, in the sense that you will have a profile. To post, search the location that you have seen the turtle. We use the location Sulphur Creek Reservoir, and then scroll down the creek to get a more direct location of where the turtle was seen. To find our profile, type in a.c.t.r. ( which stands for Aliso Creek Turtle Rescue ) in the profile search bar.
Aliso Creek Turtle Rescue
This is where we post pictures, write articles, and update you on our progress with our studies. occasionally we may post things that have to do with the species we work with, but not necessarily having to do with our studies. We will regularly update our blog page.
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