|Patrick Kobernus with Western pond turtle|
Earlier this month, SFPUC’s Crystal Springs Bioregional Habitat Restoration (BHR) project returned 11 Western pond turtles to Homestead Pond in the Peninsula watershed following restoration work.
Patrick Kobernus, the lead biologist on the project, was pleased to see that “the pond already has good food resources such as tree frog eggs and plants. Other wildlife have moved back into the pond and are already breeding.”
The turtles were relocated before habitat restoration began, as required by the California Department of Fish and Game. The watershed’s only native turtle species, these Western pond turtles spent 5 months at a care facility run by the Silicon Valley Turtle and Tortoise Club.
SFPUC environmental staff is monitoring the 8 female and 3 male reptiles.
The habitat restoration work at Homestead Pond, designed to mimic other ponds in the area, involved the removal of non-native plants and increasing the size of the pond. The enlarged pond provides more habitat for turtles, the California red legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake, among other native wildlife. Revegetation is continuing at the site.
|Western pond turtle returning to Homestead Pond|