Adopt a critter page!

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Yes, you can adopt (sponsor) one of the turtles that is currently living at the Earthshine R & R facility, one of the turtles that we are tracking in the wild or one of the critters that lives in the Earthshine Nature Center. There are two different sponsorship packages--FRIEND and PARTNER.

Friend level critter adoptions involve a contribution that may be in the form of a monetary donation that will be used to cover the costs of food, vitamins, veterinary care, housing and habitat maintenance for the resident critters at the Earthshine Nature Center and box turtle rehabilitation facility. If you choose to adopt a turtle that is being tracked in the field your donation will help cover the costs of equipment such as new radio transmitters, field notebooks, batteries etc. You may also donate new or used equipment--please contact us if you believe you have an item we could use.

Adoption fees are as follows-but you may donate as much or as little as you like:

Hatchling: $10.00-$20.00

Juvenile: $20.00-$40.00

Adult: $40.00-$60.00

Old Timer: $60.00-$80.00

Centenarian $80.00-$100.00+

NOTE: Adoption titles reflect the age of turtles...not the age of the turtle guardians;-)

When you adopt a critter you will receive:

*Adoption certificate with a photo of "your" critter.

*Your name will be posted on each critters individual website as one of the "guardians" of "your" critter.

*The knowledge that your adoption fee is money well and truly spent on the conservation of the wonderful box turtle and/or the care of one of our education animals.

PARTNER level adoptions are on the individual level. While FRIEND level critters can be adopted my multiple individuals, PARTNERS are special in that they are able to adopt a critter (turtle or snake), choose it's name and then support it's research and conservation for up to three years! Partner level adoptions are good for businesses, scout troops, school groups and other organizations willing to go the extra mile with a commitment to a genuine wildlife conservation project that is working to protect our native wildlife. Partner level adoptions work as follows:

1: Contact us and let us know that you are interested in adopting a critter on a partner level.

2: Choose "your" critter (see below for critters that are available for Partner level adoption).

3: Give your critter a name *except for Jimmy.

4: Pay your adoption fee.

5: Follow in your critters tracks in two ways--1. From the comfort of your own home in the form of periodic e-newsletters, blog updates on your critters personal website and youtube videos of your critters status. 2. Visit Earthshine Mountain Lodge and we will take you on a field expedition to meet your critter in the wild* for an up close and personal wildlife education and conservation experience. *this is a wildlife conservation research project that follows strict scientific protocols so you may not be able to touch and/or hold the animal that you sponsor because it could disrupt the animals natural movement patterns. If however you call ahead and plan to visit at just the right time--we weigh the animals once/month--you may be able to hold your animal long enough to have a quick photo made. Please email us for more information if you plan to visit the Lodge and meet your critter.

Partner Level fees are $800.00 per animal. Your fee pays for: 1 radio transmitter with a 2.5-3 year average life span and associated equipment, individual website/blog for your critter, periodic youtube videos of your critter living its life in it's natural habitat and VIP access to the Earthshine Nature Center.

When you adopt an animal at the partner level you will receive: 1 framed adoption certificate with a photograph of your animal, 1 Earthshine Nature T-Shirt, your name will be posted on your critters individual website as the "guardians" of "your" critter.

*The knowledge that your adoption fee is money well and truly spent on the conservation of "your" special animal.


Partner Level animals currently up for adoption:

Jimmy Irwin We have been tracking Jimmy Irwin since 2008. He has a relatively new transmitter which will last another 1.5-2 years. If you choose to adopt Jimmy you will be able to follow in his tracks for the next 4-5 years! This is a great deal so don't hide in your shell--strike out and bite it fast before it crawls away!

2 new Eastern Box Turtles--1 male and 1 female. These turtles will be located in the spring-summer of 2011 in the fields and forests at Earthshine Mountain Lodge. We will track them for several years and add their movement data to our ongoing turtle movement database.

1 Large Ratsnake. This snake is a long time resident of the woods and fields surrounding Earthshine Lodge and if he is adopted this year we will track his movements for the next few years in the hopes of learning more about the movements of a large Ratsnake who lives in close association with the folks who call Earthshine home.

Friend Level Turtles currently up for adoption are:

Tripod, Rose, Tiny, Woody, Rowdy, Bones, Mrs. Bones., Catherine, Meredith, Lefty, Clay, One-Eyed Willie, Ellie, Chewy, Stinky (Musk Turtle) and Lucky Longnecker (Snapping Turtle).

Other Nature Center critters up for adoption:

Indi (Blue Tongue Skink), Scar (Black ratsnake), King (Eastern Kingsnake), Xena (Albino Ratsnake), Noodles (Black Ratsnake), Josie (California Kingsnake), Sparkie (Leopard Gecko), Samwise (Cornsnake), Kah (Boa Constrictor), Gandalph (Timber Rattlesnake), Phoenix (American Toad), Jabba (American Toad), Frostbite (American Toad), Frank (Gray Treefrog), Lola (Gray Treefrog), Bubba Gump (Green Frog) and Gollum (Hellbender).

If you would like to adopt a critter or if you have any questions please drop me an email via the link below.

If you would like to make a donation or pay your adoption fee just click the Paypal link below. Please be sure your mailing address is correct so that we can send you your adoption packet.


Under friend level each critter may be adopted by more than one person or organization.

Under partner level each critter may be adopted by either one person, one family or one organization.

Yes, you may donate directly to Earthshine Nature Programs without adopting a critter by simply clicking the donate button above.

If you would like a tax receipt for your records just indicate that you would like a receipt and include your name and mailing address with your donation and I will send you one ASAP.

NOTE #1. Adopting a critter at either friend or partner level does not guarantee that your animal will survive for the entire life of the transmitter. In other words, it may fall prey to natural predation from another animal, disease or old age. Should your animal meet an untimely end please understand that this a natural process of which we have no control. NOTE: As of March 2011 this has not happened to any of the animals we are currently tracking.

NOTE #2. Your animal's transmitter may malfunction and it may be lost in the wild. Hopefully this will not happen because we are now using top of the line Holohil transmitters--but there is always the remote possibility that it could happen. If you are tracking a turtle and it's transmitter fails before the projected end of its lifespan, we will bring in the Turtledogs in the attempt to find your missing animal. If you are following a snake and it's transmitter fails there is little we can do to recover it.


The items listed below have been donated(D) or purchased(P) through funds generated by donations and adoption fees!! THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the Turtle Tracks program. THANK YOU also to all of you who I have not mentioned who have donated time and funds to this project.


1 Panasonic 27" TV(D). Thank You! Jason and Tana Alfrey!

1 Canebrake Rattlesnake("Gandalph") and aquarium powerhead(D). Thank You Mandy Jordan of the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC.


New Holohil radio Transmitters for all of the wild turtles that we are currently tracking(P). Thank you Billy and Gail, Meredith and Mary Beth and Mr. Ryan.

All supplies needed to create the Ratsnake Skyway habitat(P). Thank You Mr. Ryan and Earthshine Lodge.

1 125 gallon aquarium for the new Hellbender habitat(D). Thank You Sarah Shute!

1 75 gallon Aquarium, 1 large custom reptile enclosure and many assorted aquarium and reptile husbandry supplies now being used in the Nature Center(D). Thank You Lisa.

1 100 gallon Aquarium with filter system(P). Thank You Fish and Pets!

1 lab sink and cabinet and assorted veterinary supplies(D). Thank You Animals R Us!

Assorted aquatic habitat items(D). Thank You Team E.C.C.O!

1 75 gallon aquarium and turtle supplies(D). Thank You Tammy Garland!

Assorted aquarium habitat items(D). Thank You Steve Atkins!

Assorted Veterinary supplies(D). Thank You Haywood Animal Clinic and North State Animal Clinic!

Hemostats(D). Thank you Dr. Roeder!

1 microscope(D). Thank You Dr. McCall!

1 large load of old roofing tin for the Rowdy with Reptiles project(D). Thank You Falling Creek Camp for Boys!


1 Sony Handicam used to record turtle locates and the Wild Adventures with Steve youtube.com videos(P). Thank you to everyone who purchased Turtle Tracks Fundraiser geocoins!

1 Telonics RA 14K VHF directional antenna from Telonics.com currently in use tracking AJ, Mojo, Catherine, Jimmy Irwin, Bones, Mrs. Bones and Mr. Frodo(P). Thank you Meredith and Mary Beth!

1 Used Dell laptop computer with a windows XP operating system(D). Thank You Meredith and Mary Beth!!!

Professional advice and support and educational supplies(D). Thank You Ann Berry Somers of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro!


6 Telenax radio transmitters for use tracking AJ, Mojo, Catherine, Jimmy Irwin, Bones, Mrs. Bones and Mr. Frodo. 1 Garmin GPSmap76 for marking turtle locations, 1 Taylor soil thermometer and 1 Speedtech pocket weather station for collecting weather/temperature/humidity/wind speed data at each location(P). Thank you Alan and Regina, Meredith, Mary Beth, Billy and Gail and Catherine O'Neil!

1 LaCrosse Technology Professional Weather Station(P). Used to monitor the overall weather conditions of the Earthshine study site. View the real time data from this unit online by clicking HERE Thank you Billy and Gail!!!


1 large caliper(P). Used for taking accurate shell measurements. Thank you Billy and Gail!!!

1 Pesola Spring Scale for weighing turtles(P). Thank you Carrie and Michael!!!

Epoxy and paint for attaching transmitters(P). Thank you Karen!!!

1 Triangular file for marking new turtles(P). Thank you Jessica!!!

1 AVM radio transmitter(P). First used to track Bones now used to teach children about wildlife research and conservation in our outreach programs. Thank you Billy and Gail!!!


Grants for schools from WILD SOUTH(D). Thank You John Edwards and Wild South. www.wildsouth.org

Donated Professional Veterinary services for injured wildlife(D). Thank You Haywood Animal Clinic!

Donated professional minting services(D). Thank You Aaron Weed at Coins and Pins! www.coinsandpins.com

Professional Turtle locating services(P/D). Thank you John Rucker, Karen Judge and the Turtledogs!! www.turtledogs.org

1 40 gallon reptile enclosure with locking top and many assorted reptile supplies and food and 1 microscope(D/P). Thank You Charlie Green!

Musical talent(D). Thank You to the Steep Canyon Rangers! www.steepcanyon.com

Musical talent(D). Thank you to John Mason! www.blueridgebreezes.com

2010-2011 Musical talent(D). Thank You John Vorus! www.johnvorus.com

Professional advice and services(D). Thank You Gabrielle Graeter, Field Biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission!

Professional advice and services(D). Thank You Lori Williams, Field Biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission!

Thank you Meredith, Billy and Gail and all of you who donated anonymously at the Sherwood Forest turtle seminar in August of 2008!

Thank you to those I erroneously left out and to everyone who donated anonymously to ENP and to the Turtle Tracks project.

Special Thanks to Marian O'Neil, Catherine O'Neil, Lee and Sandi Kisselburg, Joe and Kelli Duckett, the Laws Family and Padraig. Thank You all for all of your moral support and for putting up with my naturalist's ways all these years.


GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

You may also contribute supplies directly to Earthshine Nature Programs. Items that that we currently need for the 2011 season are as follows:

New laptop or desktop computer with a windows XP operating system and MS Office 2003 or better.

3 Holohil reptile transmitters--please contact us for more information on these units.

1 Wildlife Materials Receiver--please contact us for more information on this unit.

20 Duracell or Energizer rechargeable AA Batteries (2650 mAh or higher) and charger.


Please contact us by clicking the bottle below if you have any questions about Earthshine Nature or Turtle Tracks, would like to adopt a turtle, make a donation or if you would like to use any of our pictures. Thank you.

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!