Box Lake (near Nakusp) Western Painted Turtle Basking Habitat Enhancement

Box Lake (near Nakusp) Western Painted Turtle Basking Habitat Enhancement

The main purpose of the habitat enhancement was to provide key basking and thermoregulation structures for the Western Painted Turtle population in Box Lake. This project involved installing anchored cedar logs, separated from the lake shoreline for predator protection. Pre-enhancement, camera traps were placed on fallen logs along the shoreline to assess turtle and wildlife use of existing, natural structures. This provided a general idea of turtle use of those structures and also provided a general overview of wildlife species present along the shoreline--Box Lake has had limited wildlife inventory. The pre-assessment captured species such as Western Painted Turtle, otter, heron, cougar, deer, merganser, kingfisher, robin, mice, and more. After basking log installment, camera traps were placed at one end of the log to capture wildlife use of the enhancement structures. Within one night, a muskrat was observed laying vegetative material on one of the logs; other notable observations were the camera capture of log-use by many wildlife species for feeding, resting, and hunting.

Project Leads: David DeRosa

Focal Species: All