Tucker is a 10 year old Eastern box turtle who lives in the mountains of West Virginia. Tucker had noticed many changes in the plants and animals living around him and he became concerned.
Disappearing were his friends the spring wildflowers. Dying were his neighbors the Hemlocks. And, moving in were all kinds of strange critters.
Tucker slowly made his way to the Pendleton County Library where he learned about non-native invasive species. He learned that non-native invasive species are organisms brought to an area from some other place causing harm to the economy, environment, or human health. He learned that they are one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of West Virginia and to his home!
Being a proactive turtle, Tucker did more research and learned of a group of humans fighting non-native invasive species around his home - the Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area (CWPMA). Together, Tucker and the CWPMA have written Tucker's story. Hey, it's hard to type when you are a reptile!
We hope you'll get a copy of Tucker's book and spread the word. As Tucker says, "The pests that threaten our forests and rivers, we'll fight them to the end, Linked in arm with friends like you, to help these places mend."
Tucker and the Potomac Highlands CWPMA
Tucker also wanted us to mention that Eastern box turtles live in the wild and are happiest in their natural environment. They are declining over much of their range. They are very susceptible to habitat fragmentation, road-related mortality, and they suffer from collection as pets. Because it takes so long for these turtles to mature (about 5 years), it is hard for box turtle populations to recover from these pressures.