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Get Out of My Swamp

By January 6, 2022June 5th, 2023No Comments

For my Druidic studies I have been reading books about my local ecology. I couldn’t resist the crossover with my work with turtles, so my current read is The Ecology, Exploitation, and Conservation of River Turtles by Don and Edward Moll. In there is a section on wetlands.

There are four types of wetlands in the Adirondacks: marshes, bogs, fens, and swamps. The designations have to do with the types of soil and plants in each, but in general wetlands are wet places. Wetlands often link dry places and more defined bodies of water, but sometimes they are just there, at least for part of the year.

Most turtle releases happen in wetlands. I invested in a good pair of waterproof boots after having a few shoes sucked off my feet by mud. The still water is a good breeding ground for insects, so wetlands are often buggy. Humans usually complain about the mud and the bugs, so alterations are made to make wetlands more enjoyable. Wetlands are also unsuitable for building, so swamp after swamp has been drained for development.

Now, thanks to all that swamp draining, we have lost some of the most biodiverse places on Earth. And turtles have lost much of the ideal habitat for hatchlings and juveniles to grow and thrive. As wetlands disappear at an alarming rate, so do turtles.

To save turtles, we need to save wetlands from alteration and development. Shrek said it better, but, seriously, get out of my swamp.