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Friday, May 25, 2012
Public Invited To Endangered Turtle Release
The public is invited to join Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) staff biologists and other turtle conservation partners to an endangered turtle release event. Attendees will have an opportunity to help release over 100 endangered Northern Red-bellied Cooter hatchlings and learn how people can help turtles in their neighborhoods or communities. The event will take place at the DFW Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hanson off Hawks Avenue.

When: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 11:00AM

Where: Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Hanson - Driving directions below

Who: Division of Fisheries and Wildlife biologists and technicians

Cooter "Headstart" Cooperators

Background:

The Cooter Headstart Project is one of many turtle conservation efforts conducted by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and other conservation agencies and organizations. The endangered cooter hatchlings were removed from the wild last fall and paired with partnering educational and scientific facilities from across the state as part of a program called "Headstarting." Headstarting accelerates growth and reduces the likelihood of death during a turtle's first year of life. As part of the program, cooperating partners raise the turtles in warm aquarium environments with unlimited food, allowing them to grow faster, and making them less vulnerable to predation when they are finally released. For a fact sheet about Northern Red-bellied Cooters, go to: www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/species_info/nhfacts/pseudemys_rubriventris.pdf.

Representatives from the following organizations partnered with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife on the Cooter Headstart project: Zoo New England, Museum of Science of Boston, New England Aquarium of Boston, Berkshire Museum of Pittsfield, National Marine Life Center of Bourne, the South Shore Science Center of Norwell, and the Thornton Burgess Society of Sandwich. Students from the following schools and colleges also participated in headstarting cooters: Andover High School, Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, Dighton Middle School, Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, EDCO-North Crossing in Watertown, Essex Agricultural High School in Middleton, Greenfield High School, Lasell College in Newton, Locke Middle School in Billerica, MassAudubon, Minuteman Regional Vocational & Technical School in Lexington, Norfolk Agricultural High School in Walpole, Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, Quincy High School, Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School in Easton, Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne, and Worcester State University.

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Directions to the Cooter Release Site in Hanson :

From the North/Boston: Follow Route 93 South to Exit 7 onto Route 3 South. Follow Route 3 South to Exit 13 (Route 53/123). Follow signs for Route 53 South and follow Route 53 South to Route 139 West/Rockland Street. Follow Route 139 West for approximately 1.3 miles and turn left onto Center Street. Follow to end (road will change names to Broadway and then Winter Street) and turn left onto Liberty Street/Route 14. In approximately 0.3 miles bear right onto Route 58 South/Indian Head Street. Follow Route 58 South for approximately 1.5 miles and turn right onto Route 27 North/Main Street. In 0.3 miles, turn left onto Pleasant Street. Follow Pleasant Street for approximately 0.8 miles and take a hard right onto Hawks Avenue immediately after crossing over the commuter rail tracks. Entrance to the Burrage Pond WMA will be immediately on your left.

From the West: Follow Route 495 to Exit 15 (Route 104 East). Follow Route 104 East to Route 106 East. Follow Route 106 East to Route 58 North. Follow Route 58 North for approximately 2.8 miles and turn left onto South Street. Follow South Street for approximately 0.6 miles and turn left onto Pleasant Street. Take a hard right onto Hawks Avenue immediately after crossing over the commuter rail tracks. Entrance to the Burrage Pond WMA will be immediately on your left.

From the South/Cape Cod: Follow Route 6 to Route 3 North to Exit 9 (Route 3A/Main Street). Follow Route 3A North to Route 27 West. Follow Route 27 West for approximately 7.7 miles and turn left onto Pleasant Street. Follow Pleasant Street for approximately 0.8 miles and take a hard right onto Hawks Avenue immediately after crossing over the commuter rail tracks. Entrance to the Burrage Pond WMA will be immediately on your left.

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