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Amphibian and Aquatic Reptile Restoration

Image of a Western Pond Turtle being held up by a field biologist.
Native Western Pond Turtle. Photo by Kerwin Russell.

The RCRCD and local partners work to foster and re-introduce amphibian and aquatic reptile populations into restored conservation areas. Some species include the Western pond turtle, California salamander, Coast range newt and California tree frog. The RCRCD manages an amphibian restoration program through a Special Environmental Project (SEP) on the Lee Lake Conservation Easement. This is a three-acre pond being used to restore Western Pond Turtle habitat and increase numbers in the wild. As the habitat of the Lee Lake pond is improved, Western Pond turtles will be introduced and ones that are currently present will have more available habitat in which to breed and reproduce. Any native turtles living in Temescal Creek would also be able to use the pond as a refuge, as well as a one-acre sink pond in McBride Canyon that will be used as a refuge to increase habitat for the turtle. The District also works with Riverside County Parks to monitor turtle populations in the wild. The Western pond turtle is the only native turtle in Southern California.

Image of a Western Pond Turtle
Western Pond Turtle. Photo by Kerwin Russell.
Image of someone holding Western Pond Turtle Eggs
Eggs from a Western Pond Turtle. Photo by Kerwin Russell.