Programs & Events

Science Café: Tracking turtles

Program Number: 
Program Type: 
Science Talks
Mar. 28, 2013 | Thursday, 7:00pm
Location: Nature Research Center - The Daily Planet Café

Tracking turtles from the volcanoes of Galapagos to downtown St. Louis

Turtles really are amazing. Not only because they have to carry that shell around all the time, but because they can live just about anywhere (except in the coldest latitudes) and have evolved some remarkable survival strategies. The giant tortoises of Galapagos migrate up and down the slopes of volcanoes to escape hard times, while Lilliputian box turtles in the US have to hunker down in cold soil for a few months every winter — sometimes freezing solid! The trouble is their strategies are not up to date — they didn’t evolve to deal with subdivisions — and turtles are now the most threatened vertebrate group on Earth. Come hear about Dr. Stephen Blake's latest turtle research, from exotic Pacific islands to your local woods.

About our Speaker

Dr. Stephen Blake, a National Geographic explorer and staff of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology spent 20 years working on the conservation and research of forest elephants and their ecosystems in the Congo Basin, before moving to the Galapagos Islands in 2009 where he started tracking giant tortoises with GPS tags.  While in the Galapagos, he discovered and tracked annual migrations of the tortoises on the islands.  Dr. Blake now splits his time between the Galapagos and St. Louis, where he has started another tracking study on suburban box turtles.