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Wood Turtle Conservation with Kiley Briggs

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Herpin Time

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Join HTR Kiley Briggs is the turtle conservation coordinator for The Orianne Society’s Great Northern Forests Initiative (GNFI), based out of northeastern Vermont. As they have done with their Longleaf Savannah Initiative restoring and conserving habitat for Indigo Snakes and Gopher Tortoises in the southeast, Orianne has chosen Wood Turtles as the flagship species to wrap conservation efforts around in the GNFI. Wood Turtles, which are semi-aquatic and spend about half their time in streams and half their time foraging on land, are declining throughout their range and are incredibly sensitive to any factor that removes adults from a population (poaching, roadkill, and mortality associated with agriculture in floodplains). Through the GNFI, Kiley has worked to identify critical habitat for Wood Turtles in northeastern Vermont and is now working with farmers to find conservation strategies that balance Wood Turtle management with agricultural needs, building on a decade-long multi-state collaboration to restore Wood Turtle populations throughout the northeast by the Northeast PARC Wood Turtle Working Group.