For turtles that grow up in the sea, or in our ponds and swamps, early childhood is often when they're the most vulnerable. They're small, inexperienced, and at the mercy of cars and animal predators. For turtles who are endangered, this is an especially scary time.
Here in Massachusetts, a program called Hatchling and Turtle Conservation through Headstarting (HATCH) is trying to make this time easier for young turtles. They place hatchling turtles in classrooms around the state. School children take care of the turtles before releasing them. Turtles who grow up in HATCH have a 40% higher chance of surviving into adulthood than those who don't.
Diana Renn's son participated in the program. His experiences — and his newfound love for turtles — inspired Diana to author a new children's book called "Trouble at Turtle Pond." It comes out this Wednesday.
Renn joins us to talk more about the book. Plus, Emilie Wilder, field conservation program manager at Zoo New England, joins the conversation. Zoo New England operates the HATCH program.
This segment aired on April 4, 2022.