|June 14, 2012
Contact: Gerianne Smart
Director of Marketing and Communications
802.864.1848 ext. 125
Baby (neonate) Spiny Softshell Turtles to be Released into Lake Champlain
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
WHO: ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in cooperation with Steve Parren, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Biologist and select ECHO members, staff, volunteers and interns.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Protected beach area in North Hero (not for public knowledge, at North Hero State Park).
WHAT: After nearly ten months over-wintering at ECHO, the neonate spiny softshell turtles will be released into the wild where they will now have a better chance of thriving and adding to the dangerously low number of adults now inhabiting special protected beaches on Lake Champlain.
- Brian Potvin, ECHO Director of Animal Care and Facilities Management
- Steven Parren, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Diversity Program Director
- Two+ dozen ECHO members and animal care staff, interns and volunteers.
It is time to release the baby spiny softshell turtles back into the wild after their nine-month stay at ECHO!
Close to four dozen baby spiny softshell turtles were collected last autumn by Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Biologist Steve Parren. They over-wintered at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain under the care of ECHO’s Animal Care staff. This marks the seventh year of this important animal preservation program.
“This is an important program at ECHO with many angles of benefits resulting. The turtles benefit by having several months, protected and well fed at ECHO, where they can increase in size making them more likely to survive once they return to the Lake. And, no less important, is the incredible lesson of Lake stewardship these animals provide to our guests as they learn about the turtles, their environment and the threats they face for survival”, said Brian Potvin, ECHO’s Director of Animal Care and Facilities Management.
Due to the sensitive nature of the wetland area where the turtles are being released, only a select group of ECHO members and animal care staff, interns and volunteers will be taking part in the release. This release is not open to the public.
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is located at the
Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, on Vermont’s Burlington
Waterfront. ECHO features 70 live species, more than 100
interactive experiences, changing and permanent exhibits and
seasonal events — all exploring the Ecology, Culture, History,
and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. The
2.2 acre Leahy Center environmental campus is also highlighted
by the Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room, UVM’s
Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Lake Champlain Navy
Memorial, ECHO’s Eclectic Gift Shop, and ecology-themed Café
managed by Sugarsnap. Open year-round, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day. For more information visit
echovermont.org, call (toll-free) 1.877.324.6386, or write to
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake
Champlain, One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401.