Nature reserve for the pond turtle

Nowy rezerwat przyrody

At the beginning of the year, an order of the Regional Director of Environmental Protection in Poznan dated December 16, 2022 came into effect. On the recognition of the Czarne Doły nature reserve. This reserve was established in Greater Poland, on an area of 135.33 hectares in the municipality of Osieczna, Leszno County. The reserve was established to protect the only naturally occurring turtle in Poland.

As the following depiction of the reserve’s boundaries shows, it includes a section of forest, a wetland with a floodplain, and open areas.

New nature reserve
wyk. Monika Mazur, Pectore-Eco, by order: https://edziennik.poznan.uw.gov.pl/legalact/2022/9710/

An annual survey of pond turtles in the area is conducted by the Polish Society for Nature Protection “Salamandra”. Among other things, their counting and assessment of their condition takes place then. The turtles have been protected in the area since the 1980s, at which time more than 4 hectares of forest were excluded from use. A number of conservation measures have been planned to keep the habitat in good condition.

The pond turtle has been under strict species protection in Poland since 1935. These reptiles can live up to 120 years. They are predators that feed exclusively underwater. Their food includes aquatic insects, larvae, snails, tadpoles and frogs. They are most easily observed during the breeding season, in late May and early June. A threat to mud turtles can be predators that eat their eggs – wild boars, badgers or foxes. This is not the only problem: the red-footed turtle, considered one of the most dangerous invasive alien species also poses a threat to the native turtle population, which is sensitive to any adverse changes in its natural environment.

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