Turtle Tally

Thank you for your interest in taking part in Hadlow College's citizen science project, the Turtle Tally!

We are asking you to go out to lakes, ponds and still bodies of water to look for and observe turtles.

All you need to do is head out and look for turtles that may have come out of the water to sunbathe on logs and banks. if you have binoculars, that will definitely help. If possible we would like you to submit photographs along with your sighting information.

The weekends allocated for the tally are: Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st March, Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April and Saturday 13th & 14th April 2019. We are happy to receive sightings outside of this period.

To get started, click the link below to enter the Turtle Tally.

P.S. We are only looking for observations and sightings, so there is no need to handle or interfere with individual animals!

Hadlow CollegeBritish Herpetological SocietyNational Centre for Reptile Welfare

More Information

Why have we organised the Turtle Tally?

In the world of nature conservation, the potentially devastating effect of invasive species on native ecosystems is a constant topic of discussion. There has been much recent discussion around the post-Brexit nature and biodiversity strategy, including EU Regulation 1143/2014 - on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) - which came into force on 1st January 2015. It has yet to be clarified how the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern, which is central to this Regulation, will be updated and administered when the UK leaves the EU.

Further restrictions may be applied on keeping, selling, breeding and growing, which may result in many reptile breeders being forced to keep their animals for life, rather than give them away or sell them. Consequently, this has the potential to result in many animals being abandoned into the wild. To address some of these concerns, Hadlow College will soon be launching a citizen science project, in association with the British Herpetological Society (BHS), to collect data from the general public on introduced turtle and terrapin species in the UK.

Who is running the project?

Hadlow College is working in association with the British Herpetological Society and the National Centre for Reptile Welfare to engage the general public in citizen science. Students and staff from the college will be supervising and analysing the data with expert support by the Centre and Society.

Why are you doing this project?

Due to a lack of information regarding introduced turtles to the UK lakes and ponds, we are seeking to gauge numbers of turtles and where they are located.

Where is the project being carried out?

Throughout the UK - so everyone is invited, and everyone can get involved!

What happens with the information?

We are all about education, so we have offered the project to our degree students to be able to take part and analyse the data as part of their course and dissertation. This is an exciting opportunity for our students to take part in a great research topic.

Are we supposed to pick up the turtles?

This is an observational science project, so no physical interaction with the turtles is necessary. At no point are we expecting anyone to handle any of these animals. It is illegal to release species that are not native to the UK countryside, so by handling the turtles they would then need to be brought into captivity to avoid the handler carrying out a criminal act.

Does it cost anything?

No - just your time and kindness in taking part, and the time to observe and submit your sightings online.

size comparisons

Artwork by Denys Ovenden.