Habitat - Outdoor :: Winter?

Ponds and other outdoor enclosures.

Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:59 pm   Winter?

We have a small pond and a RES adopted it as its home. We live in Tennessee and were wondering what the turtle will do in the winter. Will she (we've determined the sex because she has eggs) stay in the pond or burrow into a warmer spot in the nearby woods? If she goes away, is she likely to return?
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:17 pm   

They will hibernate at the bottom of the pond. That's their natural instinct.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:06 pm   

Thanks. That is what we hoped.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:21 pm   

But they do need like sand, mud or some kind of debri at the bottom to burrow into.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:37 am   

A small or medium sized pond will NOT be OK for the winter. It is NOT recommended to let captive RES to hibernate.

An outdoor pond would need to be several feet deep and at least a couple of thousand gallons. Take her inside and make sure she can't escape from her outdoor pond either.
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:51 am   

Exactly how big is the pond? How deep is it? Is there any substrate?

How cold does/can it get in the winter? Can the pond freeze over?

You said "a res"---is the res wild or is it a pet?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:13 pm   

I've PMed and emailed this user. Hopefully they'll respond.
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:03 pm   

Thank you very much for lending assistance. First, this is not a "captive" RES. It is a turtle who wandered into our pond area and found it hospitable. It is not our pet, though we like having her around and would like it if she stays.

Here is information about our pond. The lower basin/pond where the turtle has made a home is 8 x 10 feet. Depth is 3 feet. Our total pond area is as follows: There is a 10x10 upper bog filter, a 20 foot upper stream/waterfall. The main pond is 18 x 24 and houses koi. There is a 15 ft. lower stream that feeds into the turtle's pond area. The whole pond structure has approximately 10,000 gallons of water. The substrate is gravel/rocks. However, we spoke to the person who installed the pond, and he indicated that we can leave fall leaves in the pond for burrowing, and we can also shut off the skimmer so that the turtle has a refuge in that space. The turtle is also free to leave if she desires.

We have moderately cold winters (snow very rarely). There is very little chance of the pond freezing.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:57 pm   

WOW!! That sounds amazing!!! I would say that if the turtle is wild, then it can care for itself. There are measures you can take to make it safer for her. Could you post pics of your pond? I'd love to see it, it sounds beautiful.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:04 pm   

Hibernation is not really an expertise on this forum. The main issues would be that the pond does not completely freeze, has plenty of substrate and that it is oxygenated. Outside of that, I do think additional research is warranted (perhaps a few questions directed to local turtle keepers).
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:28 am   

We also expect that, based on her size, the turtle can care for herself. As untsmurf noted, we just want to do our best to make sure the area is safe for her if she decides to spend winter at our pond as she has done all summer. I can't imagine the pond would ever completely freeze given our environment, and would probably seldom be iced over at all. I don't know any local turtle keepers. That is why I turned to this forum.

I will try to post some pictures. I realized I mainly have pictures of the turtle and need to take some of the pond.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:47 pm   

Here are some pictures, mostly of the turtle's adpoted home.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:33 pm   

that is .........
lets just say i want it
im am jealous
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:54 pm   

Those are some incredible pictures, thanks for sharing.
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steve
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:11 pm   

WOW!

Now that's what I call a turtle heaven.
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