western pond turtle at-risk species assessment

The western pond turtle is California’s only native freshwater turtle. The turtle’s numbers have been declining due to urbanization, limited water availability, and competition or predation from invasive species — making it a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is performing a pre-listing assessment to evaluate the current status, population health, and potential threats to the turtle. In partnership with the service, our team will evaluate the current status of the turtle, informing the listing process.

The project will compile published and unpublished data on the species’ current trends in distribution, population size, and genetics. With this data, we will conduct analyses culminating with a comprehensive final report on the status and trends of this at-risk species.

Group Members: Griffin Nicholson, Thomas Morgan, Stephanie Manzo, Bianca Sanchez, Zachary Devereux, Hogan Fenster, Delacey Rodriguez

Advisor: Brad Shaffer

Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: A federal agency tasked with managing natural resources specifically fish, wildlife, and natural habitats for the good of the general public. Tasks include implementing wildlife laws, conserving our natural habitats, and protecting endangered services.