This proposal is for informational and coordination purposes and is not intended as a PITA
A. Project Title: Movement, Habitat Use, and Relocation of Western Pond Turtles
(Emmys marmorata) in a wetland complex adjacent to the Trinity River.
B. Principal Investigator(s) and Affiliation:
Leah Sloan and Dr. Sharyn Marks,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University (HSU)
Jamie Bettaso, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Brandt Gutermuth, Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), Bureau of Reclamation
C. Project Goal(s) and Objective(s):
a. Task 1: The HSU project will continue in a second year (2011) to identify
physical and biological characteristics that are important in influencing pond and
terrestrial habitat use by turtles and to make informed decisions when creating
new turtle habitat or improving existing habitat.
b. Task 2: The USFWS will coordinate/work with HSU at Lowden Ranch area and
will capture turtles at projected restoration sites (Chapman Ranch and Wheel
Gulch) in 2011 and will relocate individuals to safer refugia.
D. Project Task(s) and Associated Methods:
a. Task 1 – HSU shall monitor, via radio telemetry, habitat use and movement of
Western Pond Turtles among a series of ponds and wetlands adjacent to the
Trinity River at the Lowden Ranch site. Monitoring will continue through fall of
2011. Detailed information on habitat use by turtles and timing in different
habitats will be determined.
b. Task 2 - As part of the ongoing mechanical channel restoration efforts conducted
by the Trinity River Restoration Program, channel rehabilitation through the use
of heavy equipment will continue in 2011, focusing on the Chapman Ranch and
Wheel Gulch Project, as well as, monitoring turtles that were collected and tagged
at the Lowden Ranch site in 2010. Monitoring of the 2010 tagged turtles will
provide valuable information to guide 2011 and future construction activities.
Changes to the Lowden Ranch Restoration site in 2010 include alterations (and
enhancement/expansion) of a seasonal wetland that was created from a permanent
water body adjacent to the Trinity River, as well as, the construction of juvenile
nursery habitat within a riparian wetland area. Western pond turtle use of these
habitats had been observed in the past and trapping and moving of these animals
is planned in 2010, prior to construction, to protect animals that live in these
locations. As part of the environmental mitigation measures required for these
projects (Master EIR 2009) mitigation measures necessary to protect fish and
wildlife resources (e.g., western pond turtles) during the construction were
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identified. These measures include collection and relocation of turtles from
project areas along the Trinity River and from impacted pond/wetland areas.
Approximately eight turtles will be captured and radio tagged from the Chapman
Ranch and/or Wheel Gulch area in 2011. These animals will be moved off site to
be safe from heavy equipment during construction. Additional data are required
to determine the continued status of these animals and whether these animals
attempt to return to their pond/wetland areas at Chapman Ranch or Wheel Gulch,
and therefore will be radio-tracked until late fall of 2011 until they enter
E. Data Evaluation and Deliverables:
a. Task 1: Quarterly reports on HSU project goals will be available. At the end of
the project a thesis will report findings on the project objectives. Associated data
and GIS files will be provided to the TRRP and USFWS.
b. Task 2. Data collected from the 2010 field surveys at Lowden Ranch will be
reported by 31Mar11. Data collected in 2011 from the Chapman Ranch or
Wheel Gulch will be reported in an interim report by 31Mar12.
a. Task 1. Turtles will be tracked approximately monthly during the winter. In
spring, as turtles become more active, they will be tracked through 2011 until they
b. Task 2. Turtles will be trapped in June and July of 2011 preceding restoration
construction at Chapman Ranch, fitted with radio-transmitters and relocated to the
nearest suitable wetlands or ponds that support turtles. Turtles that have been
radio-tracked at the Lowden Meadows site will be recaptured to have their
transmitters and temperature data-loggers recovered and released at point of
G. Budget: Estimated costs for both Task 1 (HSU) and Task 2 (FWS) are provided in Table
H. Cooperators (if not included as principal investigators): Not Applicable.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Water Quality Control Board- North Coast Region.
2009. Channel Rehabilitation and Sediment Management for Remaining Phase 1 and
Phase 2 Sites. Part 1: Master Environmental Impact Report, Part 2: Environmental
Assessment/ Environmental Impact Report.
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Table 1. Budget for FY2011 proposal Lowden Meadows Turtles.
Budget Category Task 1 (HSU) Task 2 (FWS) Category Total
13,780.00 9,280.00 23,060.00
Lodging and Per Diem
19,648.50 14,040.00 33,688.50
Subtotal (direct expenses)
3,340.25 3960.00 11,819.00
22,988.75 18,000.00 40,988.75
Subtotal Total (direct+indirect)
In-kind(subtracted from above
Grand Total (amount 22,988.75 18,000.00 40,988.75
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Table 2. Budget for FY2011 and out-year budget estimates for multi-year projects1.
Budget Category FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 Total
Lodging and Per Diem
Subtotal (direct expenses)
Subtotal Total 40,988.75
In-kind (subtracted from
Grand Total (amount 40,988.75 20,0002
1. Initial estimates for out-years will be updated in future proposal and budgeting processes.
2. Turtle relocation and monitoring will be required at channel rehabilitation sites during construction where
turtle habitat exists and is utilized.
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