TURTLE TRACKS

"JIMMY IRWIN'S TRACKS"

Jimmy was found on 5-13-08 by the mowing crew who then gave him to Julie who was working in Earthshine's organic Garden. Jimmy was resting in tall grass just north of the garden plot. Jimmy has a very special name: he is brightly colored and looks as if he would enjoy a life in a tropical place so his first name comes from one of my favorite singer/songwriters Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy Buffett is also an avid conservationist and donates large amounts of money to conservation causes like the Save The Manatee Club and Reef Relief. Jimmy Irwin the turtle gets his last name from the late Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Hunter" who was a mighty warrior for wildlife and one of my heros--may he rest in peace. Read more about Steve Irwin on my Croc Hunter tribute site.

Jimmy Irwin was fitted with a Telenax transmitter and was released where he was discovered on 5-15-08.

Jimmy's stats are as follows:

Found on 5-13-08

Location: Earthshine Study Site Northwest

Weight: 425g (440 with TX)

Maximum Carapace Length: 135mm

Total Plastron Length: 130mm

Age: 17+ years old.

Habitat where Jimmy was found: grassy field near top of dry ridge.

ID marked marginals: ABN.

JIMMY'S BLOG

April 17, 2011. Jimmy is out of his winter torpor and is resting in "Jimmy's Place." He looks great and has only lost 5g over the long winters sleep. Now that he has a new transmitter we continue to follow in his tracks for several more years and learn all we can about Jimmy's Tracks.

November 2010. Jimmy has gone to sleep for the winter just about 30 yards uphill from "Jimmy's Place" and we all can't wait to see him again in the spring!

September 2010. I have replaced Jimmy's transmitter with a new Holohil unit and released him back into his native habitat.

July 2010. Following Jimmy Irwin I have learned allot about the life of an adult male box turtle. For almost an entire year I followed Jimmy all over the mountain below the high ropes course. I discovered that he likes the area around the garden--possibly because it is an organic garden so it has an abundance of juicy slugs, snails and insects to munch on. Jimmy also frequents an area of edge habitat with an abundance of Blackberries--Jimmy is always there when the berries are in season--how does he know? I also discovered a place that I now call "Jimmy's Place" because he frequents it so much. It is a small patch of Multiflora rose, Blackberry and "weeds" surrounded by grassy field. What it is that is so special about this place, only Jimmy Irwin knows and we can only guess. Once, I found him in the middle of Jimmy's Place in a face-off with another male turtle but most of the time he is just sitting there, under the briers looking out on the world. In July of 2009 Jimmy's radio signal disappeared. At first I thought it was his transmitter but since it was a relatively new unit I decided that he must have gone walkabout as male turtles sometimes do. I searched all over the mountain--high and low--and I even brought in John Rucker and his Turtle Dogs to look for Jimmy but we never found him...

Then, almost a year later, I turned on the receiver and dialed in his frequency in the hopes of locating him and there it was--his signal was strong and near! I found him in almost the exact location where he was first discovered in 2008 just north of the garden. I located him a couple of more times over the next two weeks then picked him up and put him in the turtle enclosure for a couple of days while the mowing crew mowed the field. During this time I tried to locate him once and found no signal. I searched the pen and found Jimmy but his transmitter was non-functioning at that time. Two hours later the signal was strong ?? I then realized that the transmitter only works intermittently--so he had never left his habitat! Jimmy lived in the holding pen for a few weeks while we awaited his replacement transmitter.

November 2009. The Turtle dogs searched for Jimmy but were unable to find him. Check out the video below for more info on our search. Hopefully, we will see Jimmy Irwin again one day...

July 2009. Jimmy has vanished! His transmitter has either stopped transmitting or he has gone on walkabout. I think we will have to bring in the Turtle Dogs!

Fall 2008. Jimmy has turned in for the winter. He is in the forest below the White Wolf Trail.

May 15, 2008. Jimmy was released today at the point of capture (see the map below). I will track his movements 1 to 2 times per week in order to attempt to determine his home range and habitat use.

May 14, 2008. Jimmy was fitted with a Telenax radio transmitter. The radio transmitter was painted in the same colors and patterns as his shell. The goal was to camouflage the transmitter so that it matches the shell and does not attract interested creatures that might want to bother this old turtle.

To view Jimmy's 2011 tracking map with his past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

To view Jimmy's 2010 tracking map with his past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

To view Jimmy's 2009 tracking map with his past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

To view Jimmy's 2008 tracking map just click HERE

To view a zoom view of Jimmy's 2008 tracking map in a new window just click HERE

NOTE: Distances and locations on the maps are approximate. Exact location information will not be posted on this site due to possible poaching/trespass issues.

Observational data, movies and photos collected each time Jimmy is located will be posted through the link below.

Jimmy's Tracks Tracking Logs

Click the photo link below to go to the JIMMY'S TRACKS track index. Each tracking day has its own page for easier viewing. On each page you will find the detail data of each tracking day, photos and often a short video of Jimmy's position at the time of location. Logs begin with the oldest and progress to the newest at the bottom of the page.

To view Jimmy's current and previous tracking days just click on the below photo to go to his tracking day index.


Please return often because as this study unfolds, I will update this page with more data, photos and movies documenting the journeys of Jimmy the Eastern Box Turtle.

Please contact us if you have a box turtle local to the WNC area that is injured, sick, displaced or is in need of a little R & R or if you are interested in becoming a part of The Earthshine Turtle Tracks program .


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