Saving Endangered Turtles in the Pacific Northwest

by Oregon Zoo Foundation
Jun 15, 2010

Turtle Update - spring 2010

Thanks to everyone for helping with our western pond turtle head start program. With your help, the Oregon Zoo will continue to help rebuild wild populations of this endangered species with the ultimate goal of self-sustaining turtle populations in the Pacific Northwest.

We've had a busy spring here in Portland with 65 young turtles under care here at the Zoo. Sometime in early August, these charismatic little guys will be released back into the wild in ponds near the Columbia River. After nearly a year of eating and growing inside our Conservation Center located in our Cascade Stream and Pond building, these turtles are nearing the size required for release.

These baby turtles arrived as hatchlings last September- each at an average weight of 7 grams. Now they tip the scales at more than 75 grams apiece! Four "holdover" turtles from 2008, now weighing up to 250 grams, will also be returned to the wild. All will be too big for bullfrogs and largemouth bass to eat and, hopefully, they'll spend the next 9 years growing to the age when they can breed and produce more turtles.

Before they are released, each young turtle will be micro-chipped with its unique identification number and have a harmless, small notch made in their carapace to help Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife field biologists to identify them without needing to catch them again. Release day is a special occasion. It's great to see them swim off, even if keepers are sometimes a little sad to see them go.

But then, in September, we'll receive another 60-70 baby turtles and the growing process will begin all over again. If you find yourself in Portland, Oregon and are interested in seeing our current population of young turtles, please stop by and say "hello!"

Thanks again to everyone for your help with this important conservation project. GlobalGivcing supporters DO make a difference and demonstrate progress on our stated mission: "to inspire our commuinity to create a better future for wildlife."


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Oregon Zoo Foundation

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​​OZF
Project Leader:
Mavia Haight
Grants Manager
Portland, Oregon United States
$36,809 raised of $48,684 goal
654 donations
$11,875 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.