Anderson County middle and high school students contributed to long-term ecological field studies at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge on Tuesday, using Boykin Spaniels to help a veterinarian and an education and research program collect information about the state’s reptile, the Eastern Box Turtle.
The Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization, or CRESO, is leading the “turtle hunts” with the students this week, from June 27-30 in Oak Ridge. More than 20 students will participate in the program and experience hands-on field research, a press release said.
Collecting information about box turtles is a priority for CRESO to learn how local human activity is affecting their health and habitat, the press release said.
The Boykin Spaniels involved in the turtle hunt are a dog breed that has an uncanny ability to sniff out turtles. Boykins can swiftly find four to 12 turtles in an hour compared to the human ability of finding one every four hours. The Boykin’s soft mouth and calm, easy temperament ensures the turtles are not harmed. [Read more…]