Merrimack River Valley
The lower Merrimack and Nashua River Valley includes the small cities of Concord, Manchester, and Nashua, New Hampshire, and Leominster, Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, Massachusetts. Despite heavy urbanization and a history of extensive stream pollution, the Merrimack watershed supports regionally significant populations of Blanding's turtle, which occur in New England as a disjunct outlier several hundred miles from the nearest populations in Nova Scotia (itself very small and isolated) and New York's Hudson Valley. In partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, we maintain two long-term reference study sites for Blanding's turtle within the Merrimack basin. Further, we maintain a single, long-term (16 yr) study of a painted turtle population near Boston, Massachusetts. This work has been supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Competitive State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and other partners.
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