The Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is a small, secretive, semi-aquatic species that is found in a wide variety of shallow wetland habitats and their adjacent upland areas. It was once considered the most common turtle in New York State and on Long Island. Today it is listed as a “Species of Special Concern” by the NYSDEC. This designation is given to species determined by the Department of Environmental Conservation to be at risk of becoming either endangered or threatened in New York State.
A 2005 report by Mike Bottini documented the impact of mosquito ditch maintenance practices on Spotted Turtles, and resulted in important changes to Suffolk County’s Vector Control procedures.
Today, illegal turtle collecting for the pet trade is a significant factor in the long term viability of Spotted Turtle populations on Long Island and throughout the species range.
The horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) has been around practically unchanged for over 450 million years, categorizing it as a “living fossil”. These fascinating creatures aren’t actually crabs at all, as they don’t fall under the subphylum “crustacea,” which includes blue crab, spider crabs and other true crabs.
Long Island is facing a water crisis, with regard to both the fresh drinking water aquifers that sustain our daily lives and the salty coastal waters that enrich them. This crisis is reflected by what has been a steady, many decades-long deterioration in water quality, from excess nitrogen fueled by human sewage, to toxic plumes and spills, all while we “mine” our water supply by taking out more water than is being replenished.
Seatuck works across Long Island on a variety of wildlife issues, employing a multi-pronged approach to advancing conservation. We advocate for wildlife, advance restoration projects, conduct surveys, educate public officials, host workshops, lead coalitions and pursue a host of other approaches to promote wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.