Marmorata: the famed mud turtle of the San Francisco market.
"Mock Turtle, Premartin 30 cents"
"Clear Green Turtle, Granday 50 cents"
"Terrapin Maryland $2.50"
The western pond turtle, or terrapin as it was once known, was historically a prominent item in the markets of California at the turn of the twentieth century. And although several scientific and historical journal articles, as well as some popular literature, recount briefly the collection of terrapins for sale in the San Francisco market as an ingredient for soup, little beyond this recycled anecdotal information has been documented or expanded upon in detail. (1) Records, although rare, obscure, or cursory, do exist, however. In many respects, the absence of published data represents a significant hole in the regional historical record surrounding not only the fisheries, but also of California. Moreover, these data gaps also highlight our lack of understanding about the current status of a turtle species now facing considerable threats to its existence. Although the western pond turtle could be considered a candidate for listing as an Endangered or Threatened species, state and federal agencies have denied attempts to recognize this status. In urban areas of California, people are far more likely to see introduced, non-native species like the red-eared slider, which are effectively out-competing the state's native turtle. Biologists throughout the western pond turtle's range recognize that the species is declining, and that certain populations are considered threatened or endangered nonetheless. By digesting what little information remains on the extent and impacts the historical terrapin fisheries exacted on western pond turtle populations over the course of one hundred years, we may be able to gain a more accurate knowledge of the severity of their decline in numbers.
The terrapin of the San Francisco market has been known by many common names, amongst them the Pacific mud turtle, Pacific pond turtle, Pacific terrapin, California mud turtle, California terrapin, California pond turtle, pond tortoise, western terrapin snapper, or any other conceivable combination. Today, the terrapin in question is more commonly known as the western pond turtle (Clemmys marmorata), the only fresh-water turtle native to the North American Pacific Coast west of the Sierra-Cascade divide. (2)
The species name marmorata refers to the turtle's marbled shell and skin. Throughout the extent of their range, colors and markings can vary, depending on the growth, age, location, and sex of the turtle. With age the young darken in coloration and eventually lose their marbled markings. As such, the western pond turtles most people are familiar with are the drab-colored, often mud-caked, turtles observed on occasion in park ponds sunning on partially submerged logs.
Two subspecies of western pond turtle have been described: the northwestern pond turtle (C. m. marmorata) found throughout California north of the San Francisco Bay and portions of Oregon and Washington, and the southwestern pond turtle (C. m. pallida) found in the Mojave River and along the coast west of the San Joaquin Valley from the San Francisco Bay Area to below the Mexican border in northern Baja California. A zone of intergradation occurs between the two subspecies in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area wherein turtles exhibiting varying degrees of characteristics of both subspecies occur. (3)
The biologist L. M. Seeliger was the first to split the western pond turtle into subspecies and quantify their differences, noting in 1945 that the north-ranging C. m. marmorata more often exhibited a pair of triangular plates where the plastron (lower shell) and carapace (upper shell) met mid-shell, and a sharp contrast in color between the side and underside of the neck. Conversely, the south-ranging C. m. pallida had noticeably smaller triangular scales or was missing them altogether, and the coloration of the neck was lighter and more uniform. (4)
Although these subspecies were as-yet unrecognized in the late 1800s and early 1900s those whose livelihood depended on terrapins reported differences between specimens collected throughout the state. As early as 1879, one naturalist noted:
The dealers say that those from Visalia and from the San Joaquin are far superior to those from Sacramento. In the latter the under side is almost white, while in the former it is dark, approaching black; the latter will often die by the dozen soon after they are brought in for sale, while the former will keep alive for months. (5)
Although the dealers' recognition of two variants was rudimentary, subsequent analyses have indeed identified genetic differences and variations in size and shape between the subspecies. (6)
As naturalists teased out and named this newly encountered species of the United States, corresponding at times only by mail, the pond turtle underwent a series of generic and specific names. The western pond turtle as we know it today was first recorded by naturalists Spencer F. Baird and Charles F. Girard in 1852 as Emys marmorata from a specimen collected in Puget Sound, (7) after which naturalist Edward Hallowell described the species as Emys nigra in 1854 from a specimen collected at Posa Creek, Kern County. (8) In a letter to Baird, fellow naturalist Louis Agassiz wrote of the mess:
I have found the reference to Emys marmorata and am glad it has priority over nigra, for that name would never do; marmorata is not exactly the thing either, but it is at least not so completely objectionable. (9)
Still, the confusion was not easily sorted out. In 1857 Louis Agassiz published his seminal Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America, which included a review of the embryology of North American chelonians, in which he described the species as Actinemys marmorata. (10) Other descriptions were recorded at later dates under the names Clemmys wosnessenskyi (Strauch 1862), (11) Geoclemys marmorata (Gray 1870), (12) and Chelopus marmoratus (Cope 1875); (13) however, Strauch was in 1862 the first to describe the species as Clemmys marmorata. (14)
FROM RATTLES TO RATATOUILLE
Prior to 1863, to date the earliest documented occurrence of the commercial exploitation of the species, the western pond turtle appears sporadically as a subsistence item in the diet of the Native American groups of California. In the Tulare Lake area, although reportedly "the waters teemed with fish and turtles and beds of mussels," (15) western pond turtles escaped mention in Thomas Jefferson Mayfield's post-1900 anthropological accounts of the Yokuts Indians, and were only mentioned off-hand in Frank Forrest Latta's writing, even though each of the men had considerable exposure to the Yokuts. (16) Tulare County historian Annie Mitchell (1906-2000), who was raised in the area and who had personally interviewed the region's settlers, wrote:
Sea birds, ducks, geese, pelicans, swans and wild pigeons lived around [Lake Tulare] in such numbers that many an old-timer lost his reputation for truthfulness when he was only recalling what he had seen. The lake was a fisherman's paradise for there were salmon, trout, perch and catfish. The shore was clogged with clams and mussels, and terrapin lined up like miniature sand dunes. (17)
Since 1989, 616 western pond turtle bone fragments have been recovered from the Creighton Ranch site at Tulare Lake, deposited in such a way as to suggest they were consumed regularly by the Southern San Joaquin Valley Yokuts throughout their occupation of the area. (18)
Both western pond turtle and desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) remains have been recovered from archaeological sites in the southwestern Great Basin/Mojave Desert. Some remains consisted of shell fragments that were burned or marked in such a way as to suggest they had undergone cooking in preparation for consumption. Other remains were drilled and bore traces of asphaltum, a tar-like oil collected for use as a caulking agent, which suggests to anthropologists that the shells might have been used as ceremonial rattles. (19)
In 1946, excavations in Concord unearthed an archeological burial site containing the remains of nine humans. Among the artifacts buried with them were turtle bones. (20) In San Jose, an "important prehistoric ancestral Ohlone village with over 124 human burials" yielded faunal remains, among them the fragments of western pond turtles. (21) Other coastal archeological sites in Ventura County, Long Beach, Santa Barbara County, and the Channel Islands have yielded western pond turtle remains as well. (22)
Whether the western pond turtle was a sustenance item or merely used ceremonially is unclear. According to some scholars, turtles--really, reptiles in general--were considered either unclean or poisonous among many of California's Indians. The Chukchansi and Salinan Indians were two exceptions; the former considered lizards, turtles, and rattlesnakes suitable food items, while the latter ate everything they could catch, save for skunk and perhaps the coyote/dog. (23)
To Americans settling the West, turtles had no such ill reputation and it is unlikely that, as a food item, turtle was anything novel. The green sea turtle's (Chdonia mydas) role in the commercial fisheries dates back to the seventeenth century. Green turtles were one of several turtles kept alive upside-down aboard naval, whaling, and pirate ships as a source of fresh meat. (24)
A December 21, 1915, Los Angeles Times article entitled "Turkey or Turtles?" celebrated the arrival of "Thirteen Green Sea Monsters," thirteen green sea turtles shipped live aboard the Southwestern Steamship Company's Mexican freighter, the San Pedro, in time for Christmas dinners.
Even today, despite its listing as a federally Threatened and Endangered species, the green sea turtle is considered by herpetologists to be "the most economically important reptile in the world" as both its flesh and eggs provide an important source of protein to third world nations. (25)
Along the East Coast, the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), or saltwater terrapin, was heavily collected in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, selling for as much as sixty dollars per dozen, (26) to the point where the species could no longer support the intensity of commercial harvest. An October 1, 1905, Los Angeles Times article announcing the publication of a biography of the diamondback terrapin quoted natural history Professor William Perry Hay of Howard University as saying:
Thanks to lax laws and ruthless hunters, the species is on the verge of extinction; and before long, unless proper measures are taken, must be numbered among the great host of animals man has exterminated.
On the West Coast, recognizing the market demand for turtles, the U.S. Fish Commission's x884 report on "Terrapin and Terrapin-Fishing" as part of their reconnaissance of the Pacific Coast fisheries concluded that:
The conditions seem excellent for the successful introduction of the diamondback terrapin to the west coast. The extensive salt marshes around San Francisco Bay and in other places would doubtless supply a suitable habitat for the animal, whose high food value would in time bring it into active demand and stimulate cultivation and a profitable trade. (27)
Within a year, Fish Commissioner Emetic had attempted just that. As rereported in an October 4, 1895, Los Angeles Times piece, the Call ran an account on how "it has long been Mr. Emeric's idea that the expensive amphibians [sic] could be made to flourish on this coast." Emeric apparently returned to California from a trip to the East Coast with five dozen small diamondback terrapins. These he kept in a "pen of laths in the marsh near San Pablo," and they were eventually "turned loose to populate the marshes."
In 1896, the U.S. Fish Commission "made three plants of Atlantic marine species in our waters," introducing 120 diamondback terrapins into the San Francisco Bay "brought from without the State." There is no evidence to suggest whether or not this introduction of diamondback terrapins was temporarily successful, specimens encountered in the Bay Area are thought to be a byproduct of the pet trade. (28)
It appears turtles were a common menu fare in California during the late 1800s and early 1900s--and not just the western pond turtle. Although menus of the time regularly featured "terrapin" or "turtle," they offer no reliable reference to the specific species, making it difficult to track the abundance or popularity of one species over another, much less their market prices, without verifiable records.
For example, a 1904 Christmas dinner menu from San Francisco's Palace Hotel lists "Mock Turtle, Premartin 30 [cents]" and "Clear Green Turtle, Granday 50 [cents]" soup, as well as "Terrapin Maryland 2.50 [dollars]" as a fish. Which menu item, if any, might have been western pond turtle is anyone's guess.
Although diners no doubt knew with some certainty what they were eating--a man who had once tried western pond turtle meat "said it had an unpleasant odor" (29)--there are many unverifiable accounts of unscrupulous entrepreneurs who would regularly rent out the same live turtle to different restaurants on different days with the advertisement "Green turtle soup tomorrow." (30) Considering that turtle was a delicacy, odds are good anything but turtle went into the following day's soup. Although such practices were most likely uncommon, the very possibility of scams like this merely confounds the issue of properly identifying the actual species and their prevalence on menus.
What actually went into the soup stock and whether or not the diners knew what they dined upon, we certainly can't know today. But we can take a step back and track the trapping effort and the number of terrapins harvested with some certainty based on accounts from naturalists in the field and the few state and federal commercial fishery records that remain.
"PRETTY GOOD SOUPS"
In i894, U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries Captain J. W. Collins summed up San Francisco's growth, saying "As a whole, San Francisco and vicinity may be considered one of the leading fishing centers of the United States, and its possibilities for development in that direction are believed to be very great." (31)
Although Captain Collins did not mention turtles, terrapins were sought after for "the rich turtle soups and stews of San Francisco's hotels and restaurants." (32) In 1863, California Academy of Sciences curator of zoology James G. Cooper was the first to document the terrapin fisheries, mentioning offhandedly that "west of the Rocky Mountains ... but one species of the family is known to be common, the terrapin of our markets, (Actinomys [sic] marmorata, Agass)." (33) In 1868, Titus Fey Cronise confirmed in "The Natural Wealth of California" that the terrapin fisheries were well under way. "The Western Terrapin (2. Actinemys marmorata) is abundant in all the flesh waters," and they "are almost constantly for sale in the markets of San Francisco, and make pretty good soups, though much inferior to the Sea-turtles." (34) Although the San Francisco market was most often the destination for terrapins caught in the hinterlands, terrapins were also sold in other markets throughout California--"up and down the coast," according to Latta--although no others are specifically named. (35)
The effects of the terrapin harvest were noted early on. An 1879 account explained "terrapins were once so common in the creeks and ponds around the bay, but the constant demand for their flesh has made them scarce." (36) As local turtle populations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area were exhausted, especially around the marshlands at the mouth of the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, subsequent trapping efforts eventually radiated outward along the Sacramento and San Ioaquin valleys. Other locales cited were Whites Bridge Slough of Fresno County, (37) Visalia of Tulare County, Knight's Ferry of Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County (38) McArthur of Shasta County, (39) and Tulare Lake of Kings County. (40)
By 1883, a minimum of 3,600 terrapins, representing the haul of one trapper in Tulare Lake, was sent to San Francisco in one season. (41) In all likelihood, these terrapins in no way represented the true scope of the harvest underway. In 1886, the Commissioners of Fisheries of the State of California declared that terrapins "taken in all of the inland lakes and rivers of central California ... are in good demand at all times and in consequence of consumption, show a slight decrease from former years." (42)
In 1892, another historical account reiterated, "Terrapin are caught in large quantities and shipped to the San Francisco market." (43) Indeed, of the records that remain, the 1890s marked the apex of the terrapin fisheries. During the years 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, and 1892, U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries records documenting the products of the fisheries of the Pacific Coast reported 12,000, 14,400, 16,800, 18,000, and 16,800 terrapins passing through the San Francisco market alone. (44)
Beginning in 1895, terrapin harvests were intermittently reported in pounds instead of dozens. Fortunately, harvest data between 1922 and 1924 reported terrapins in both dozens and pounds, offering an average weight per turtle of two pounds. (45) Thus, assuming terrapins harvested at this time averaged two pounds each and ranged between five and eight inches in length, in 1895 between 24,000 and 47,115 (94,230 lbs) terrapins were sold in San Francisco for three to five dollars per dozen. (46) And at the apparent height of the terrapin fisheries in 1899, an estimated 53,935 terrapins (107,869 lbs) were harvested from San Joaquin, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Contra Costa counties. (47)
In subsequent years, records of the terrapin fisheries again become scarce until after the turn of the century. An isolated record from 1904 documented an estimated 12,740 terrapins (25,500 lbs) harvested in San Joaquin and Sacramento counties. (48) Then, starting in 1918 (and possibly earlier), the California Fish and Game Commission began tracking commercial landing information based on receipts or fish-tickets submitted by markets and packing facilities. That year, 557 terrapins (513 lbs + three hundred individuals) were harvested from Mendocino, Sonoma, take, Solano, Yolo, and Marin counties. (49) In 1919, a reported 2,040 terrapins were harvested from Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Del Norte, Humboldt, San Francisco, San Mateo, Tehema, Colusa, Sutter, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. (50) From 1920 to 1924, Fish and Game reports documented 72, 60, 420, 1,128, and 156 terrapins in the markets, a good portion of which came from the Sacramento and San Joaquin regions. (51)
In 1928, 1930, and 1931, Fish and Game reported 84 (168 lbs), 359 (718 lbs), and 330 (660 lbs) terrapins in the commercial fisheries. (52) These numbers, however, again most likely represent an underestimate of the intensity of the commercial and private harvests underway. In 1931, Tracy Irwin Storer, Assistant Professor of Zoology at U.C. Davis, spoke with muskrat farmer Jerry Masek, who alone was keeping 1,400 western pond turtles "in an icy cold aquatic pen holding them for market." (53) Assuming, as before, that each terrapin averaged two pounds, Masek's side-business represented more than four times the estimated 330 terrapins officially reported for the San Francisco market that year.
After T931, western pond turtles abruptly and altogether disappeared from the record books. This cessation could represent any number of factors: an official decision to omit terrapins from future harvest records, a scarcity of terrapins, or a culinary shift in taste away from terrapin soup. Most likely, the delicacy that was turtle soup became too rich for the millions of Americans struggling through the post-1929 depression brought on by "Black Thursday," the New York stock market crash. Earlier that year, a Nature Magazine article on western pond turtles concluded "Either he does not taste as good as his cousin [the diamondback terrapin] or else he is not so well advertised among the wealthy. Relatively few of them are sold on the market." (54)
WHEN SIZE MATTERS
More than just the number of turtles harvested can be gleaned from these descriptions of the fisheries. Incidental notations of turtle shell size provide some insight into how populations extant in the wild today reflect the intense culling they underwent over the last 150 years.
The earliest descriptions and depictions of adult western pond turtle size appeared incidentally in two illustrations by J. (John) H. Richard. The first of these plates, Richard's Actinemys marmorata, appeared in Plate 32 of Girard's 1858 version of the "United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842" in the volume, "Herpetology. Atlas." Of those shells depicted in Plate 3z, the largest, "fig. 1, represent[ing] the outline, half from above and half from below, of a female specimen, from Sacramento River, California" and "drawn the size of life," measures approximately 7 inches from tip-to-tip (straight-line carapace length). (55)
The second of Richard's plates, Emys nigra, accompanied Edward Hallowell's i859 "Report Upon Reptiles of the Route." Although in text Hallowell described his specimen to have a "length of carapax [sic], 6 1/2 inches, measured along curvature superiorly," the plate was subsequently described in the "Explanation of the Plates" as "Half natural size," suggesting Richard's model measured just shy of 8 inches in length tip-to-tip (straight-line carapace length). (56)
In 1861, Alexander Alexandrovich Strauch, curator of the Imperial Academy of Sciences Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg (now the Russian Academy of Sciences), described several new species of turtle. (57) Revisiting his earlier assignations of turtle specimens held in the Zoological Museum in 1890, Strauch listed nine specimens of Clemmys marmorata; the two largest specimens, both collected from the Sacramento River in 1843 and 1876, measured approximately 7 and 7 3/4 inches in length respectively. (58) The smaller of these turtles, previously described by Strauch in 1862 as Clemmys wosnessenskyi, was portrayed in his 1862 work in a color plate depicting the plastron, carapace, and profile of the turtle.
In years to come, written accounts became more detailed. Reports in 1868 cited that those terrapins for sale in the markets measured "eight or nine inches in length," (59) in 1883 that the largest were "eight inches long and eight inches broad," (60) and in 1887 that "the shell frequently measur[ed] seven or eight inches." (61) By 1895, "examples over 5 inches in length [were] not common, although the species is said to attain a length of 8 inches." (62)
In a series of visits to local turtle trappers and vendors after the turn of the century, Storer documented the turtle trade in its twilight. In 1923 Storer wrote that Bill Ayers, a trapper with whom he had visited, "indicates that the approximate size of the largest as about 10" long and 7-8" broad." (63) Two years later, Store: personally measured fifty turtles at a San Francisco turtle vendor and found that those "turtles on hand are about 5 1/2 to 7 inches in length." (64)
In 1929 Store: met with Sam Lamme, a trapper who "indicated that turtles up to 11" across (? in. lengthwise ?) [sic] of the carapace were taken at times." (65) And by 1930, while recounting his 1923 visit with Bill Ayers, Store: summarized that the largest of Ayers' turtles "were reported to be up to 10 inches in length and 7 to 8 inches in breadth, though I [Storer] have never seen one over 7 1/2 inches long." (66)
Even today, Storer's observations hold true as wild-caught adult pond turtles typically measure 5 to 6 1/2 inches in length. The largest California specimens reported in the wild are males recorded in Alameda and Marin counties within the last five years by herpetologist Pierre Fidenci measuring approximately 7 3/4 and 8 3/4 inches (197 and 223 mm), two exceptional rarities today. (67) These observations noted in the field by biologists suggest that western pond turtles are still recovering from years of exploitation in what habitat remains.
For a fishery that provided such a sought-after delicacy, surprisingly few traces remain describing the techniques trappers employed to harvest California's terrapins. Fortunately, those extant today illustrate in outstanding detail how trappers went about their task. According to several accounts, fishermen working Tulare Lake employed a common fishing seine one hundred feet in length, fastened on both ends to a sixty-foot long, half-inch rope known as a brail. Standing two hundred feet apart, two men would stretch the seine between them via the brails so that the seine hung submerged two to four feet deep. Once the seine was set, the men would drag it between them toward the shoreline or parallel to it, depending on the whereabouts of the turtles. After wading one to two hundred yards, one would circle around the other drawing the seine closed and pull it ashore to remove and sack the turtles for shipment. On a good day, this method would yield as many as eighty or ninety turtles each set. (68)
Entrepreneurs included Mr. Hill of Lemoore, "the most active terrapin fisherman," and William "Bill" Browning, who fished Tulare Lake between 1884 and 1894 for fish and terrapin. Looking to make some quick cash, Browning was by one account "one of the first men to fish and hunt commercially in the Lake area." (69)
[Browning] expanded his business, hired several men, built nets, and traps and went after it in a big way. Tulare Lake was loaded with fish and not being satisfied with a mere thirty foot net, Browning constructed one a quarter of a mile long. This net he would have dragged out into the lake by horses, spread open, then pulled toward shore, scooping up everything before it. (70)
By Latta's accounts, Browning oversaw four men and operated three boats, operating out of the old John B. Stokes ranch on northwestern Tulare Lake "on the largest scale of any Tulare Lake fisherman." Though he reputedly landed upwards of a thousand pounds of "choice fish," terrapins averaged "several dozen" a catch, which Browning packed two dozen to a barley sack and shipped them to "a ready market in San Francisco" on a Railroad Express Car. (71)
At around the same time, a number of large crafts were employed plying the waters of Tulare Lake "in connection with the traffic in terrapins." (72) One such "sailing vessel," the Water Witch, was a local boat captained by the McCoy brothers who successfully fished for terrapins (73) until the boat sank in a storm in 1882. (74) In one season, their efforts yielded "as many as 300 dozen" (3,600) terrapins. According to Latta, the Tulare Lake terrapin industry thrived such that it "led to the naming of Terrapin Bay, where these reptiles are said to once have been more plentiful than at any other place on Tulare Lake." Described to be a "very safe harbor from the northern winds and waves," Terrapin Bay was protected to the north by Gordon's Point, a low-lying sandy beach that extended a half-mile from shore. (75)
Other accounts describe the use of fyke nets, known to fisherman as "turtle nets" and "turtle traps." These lykes were inexpensive setups, valued at one or two dollars apiece (in 1894). They consisted of a framework of three hoops constructed from either "light iron" or "a ring of heavy galvanized iron" twenty-four to thirty inches in diameter. Around the iron hoops, 1 1/4- to 2-inch diamond-shaped mesh netting (described by Storer as "gill netting") was hung to form a sort of mesh barrel forty-eight inches long. At either end an inverted mesh funnel strung inward with cord provided an eight-inch wide, half to one-inch high reinforced aperture through which turtles could enter. Bait was suspended from the middle iron hoop by cord. (76)
As reported in 1895, these nets were illegal in California; set nets had been prohibited to prevent the incidental take of desirable freshwater fish such as shad and striped bass on spawning grounds or while immature. However, since the prohibition "was not intended to limit the turtle fishery ... the legal question [was] waived" as long as the fyke nets caught only catfish, carp, chubs, and turtle. (77)
Once constructed, the fyke nets were set in a slough or river bottom. Some were staked firmly in place and had to be checked often, while others were designed to float to prevent the turtles from drowning. Those fykes set to float were kept taught by running a strip of redwood, which doubled as a float, along their lengths on either side. Those set securely were fastened to staves at either end, much like a tent. According to Storer, trapper Bill Ayers explained that trapped turtles could "regulate their specific gravity," raising and sinking the traps as needed to breathe. (78)
After checking his traps, Ayers would place the turtles in an old, half-submerged scow lined with wet mud, dry sand, and shelves upon which the turtles could bask. This holding pen was covered with chicken wire to prevent their escape, and the turtles were fed chopped carp and held until the weather began to turn cold. Then, Ayers would cover the turtles beneath three inches of mud and a layer of dead leaves, through which each turtle would fashion a breathing hole. (79)
When the market was ripe, Ayers would begin shipping the largest turtles to market in barley sacks of as many as fifty-four turtles apiece. Ayers shipped the largest turtles (ten inches) in December at four dollars per dozen (sixteen to twenty-four per sack), the medium sized turtles in January, and the smallest (three inches) in February at three dollars per dozen. By March, the shipping season would end. Ayers also tried his hand at rearing young turtles by allowing the females to deposit their eggs in the sand. (80) However, there is no indication as to whether or not Ayer's efforts were successful, or if the captive-raised turtles constituted a significant portion of his business.
Other accounts suggest trappers were less attentive to their catch. In his examination of the fisheries, one naturalist noted that:
A terrapin thus kept and not fed, gradually diminishes in weight, but is not injured in any other way. During its confinement it is really feeding on its own fat, and small as is the range of its activities, and gradual the waste ensuing from them, the results are obvious after a month or two; so that a terrapin kept six or seven months without food, though still alive, is little but shell, bone and skin. (81)
Similarly, in the 1920s and 30s, trappers collecting along the central coast apparently drained ponds and vernal pools. The caught turtles were kept in washtubs until they were shipped to markets. (82)
The markets catered to specific crowds: Trapper Sam Lamme of Live Oak, Sutter County, shipped his turtles to "exclusive dubs and ... the Chinese," (83) S. Beck and Company of San Francisco supplied frogs and turtles to "colleges and restaurants," (84) and Jerry Masek, the muskrat farmer out of McArthur, Shasta County, kept approximately 1,400 turtles for eventual sale in Chinatown. (85)
According to Storer's accounts, by 1925 Sigmund Beck of S. Beck and Company had been in the business more than twenty-two years. Although this would suggest that he had been in business prior to 1903, the San Francisco City Directory first lists Beck in 1907 under "Beck S & Co (Sigmund Beck) fish." In 1910, Beck's business advertised "frogs, terrapin and mushrooms," then expanded in 1912 to include a restaurant. Two years later, however, Beck resumed business as usual, advertising "fish, frogs, terrapins and mushrooms." In 1920 and 1921, Beck listed his business simply under "S & Co fish," and between 1922 and 1924 under "S & Co frogs and mushrooms." From 1925 to 1928 he advertised "mushrooms," then just "fish" from 1929 through the presumed end of the turtle fisheries in 1931. (86)
In 1925, Storer described S. Beck and Company as "the only dealer in this line now in San Francisco." Sigmund Beck's sales tanks, measuring five feet long, three feet wide, and twenty-one inches high, held upwards of fifty turtles shipped from the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Other turtles were "merely kept in wooden boxes (redwood) dry until wanted." (87)
Chas W. Coombes, salesman and clerk for S. Beck and Company between i918 to i927 (and possibly as late as 1931, when both Beck and Coombes disappear from the San Francisco City Directory), (88) oversaw a holding pond on the "Coombes farm at So. San Francisco." (89) One of the few traces of the turtle fisheries that remain is Coombes' business card, which reads: "City Frog & Terrapin Co. / DEALERS IN / FROGS, TERRAPIN, BROOK TROUT / Crawfish, Cultivated Mushrooms / [illegible] SAN FRANCISCO / Hotels, Restaurants, Schools and Colleges Supplied." (90)
A SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN
As a result of the intense terrapin fisheries, not to mention the more immediate threats of development and habitat loss they face today, western pond turtle populations have plummeted and the species is generally accepted as declining and as threatened or endangered in the biological and herpetological communities. Nonetheless, they have yet to gain sufficient formal recognition or legal designation as such to adequately consider, much less address the conservation of the species.
The historical range of the western pond turtle along the Pacific Coast once ranged as far north as Klickitat County, Washington, and as far south as northern Baja California, Mexico. Dan Holland, the world's foremost authority on the western pond turtle, estimates that several million western pond turtles once inhabited California's Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Tulare Lake might have historically supported upwards of four million turtles alone. (91) Pioneer accounts in the 1800s described the number of turtles as having been so great that "they could be seen on the banks of Tulare Lake and on drift logs so thick that the ground was completely covered. When disturbed they popped into the water in a solid mass making a roar like the surf on a beach" "Once the largest body of fresh water west of the Great Lakes," what was once Tulare Lake is farmland, the water diverted to irrigate cotton and safflowers. (92)
In 1996 it was estimated that Washington State supported three isolated populations of pond turtles in Klickitat, Skamania, and Pierce counties totaling 311 turtles. The species is found in greater numbers through Oregon and California, although throughout its range, especially the San Joaquin Valley and southern California, populations are declining. Most historical populations in Baja California have been extirpated.
In Washington the western pond turtle is listed as a federal Species of Concern and State-Endangered, and in Oregon the turtle is listed as a Sensitive Species. In California, once the focus of western pond turtle exploitation, the western pond turtle is a Species of Special Concern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game, a designation that affords the species little recognition or legal protection. In 1992 the western pond turtle was petitioned by herpetologists Mark Jennings, Marc Hayes, and Dan Holland for listing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but, in 1993, the service found that "the western pond turtle does not meet either the definition of an endangered or a threatened species at the present time." (93)
Biologists have estimated that more than 90 percent of California's wetlands that historically fell within the western pond turtle's range have since been destroyed or altered. (94) Although a number of factors--including past and present water projects, urbanization and development, habitat fragmentation, disease, drought, competition with introduced non-native turtles, and predation by introduced species such as the bullfrog and largemouth bass (predators certainly capable of eating young turtles)--will determine the future of the remaining western pond turtle populations, their decline was set in motion more than 150 years ago with the settlement of the West.
Even today, western pond turtles are subject to illegal collection for consumption, albeit to a lesser degree. In the 1980s and 90s, herpetologist Harold De Lisle and herpetologist/UCSB professor Sam Sweet witnessed individuals collecting western pond turtles in burlap sacks from Piru and Sespe Creek and the Santa Ynez River. They were presumably collecting the turtles to sell as food or as pets. On one occasion, Sweet observed a group of people carrying three burlap sacks full of western pond turtles collected from Sespe Creek, totaling more than one hundred turtles. (95)
There is some irony in the fact that the Commissioners of Fisheries of the State of California acknowledged a decline in local turtle populations more than one hundred years ago. And today, after untold years of harvest, plus the added weight of more contemporary threats, the state and federal agencies responsible for protecting our natural resources have yet to realize the plight of California's native inland turtle.
Now, in the streams and marshlands where western pond turtles once teemed sit cookie-cutter communities and strip malls. Where western pond turtles were once widespread, they are now merely a rare, fleeting splash in a pond. The historical harvest data, unreported until now, puts the present status of the western pond turtle into perspective. Hopefully, this information may allow us to make better decisions in the future when it comes to conserving the remaining western pond turtle populations and habitat left in our stewardship.
Acknowledgements: Special thanks are in order to Michele Wellck, California Academy of Sciences Special Collections; Leslie Overstreet, Smithsonian Institution Libraries; Amelia Hellam, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley; Richard Wahlgren, ISHBH; Igor Danilov, Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Robert Hansen, Hansen Consulting; herpetologists Frank Slavens, Dan Holland, Jim Buskirk, and the herpetological community at large, who shared their research and private libraries with me; Dana Terry, friend, colleague, and translator; and my loving wife Sarah, for all of her support.
(1) Scientific: Dan C. Holland, "The Western Pond Turtle: Habitat and History. Final Report," U.S. Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration (1994): section 2, page 13; Dan C. Holland, "Synopsis of the Ecology of the Western Pond Turtle, Clemmys marmorata," Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Ecology Research Center (Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1989): i3-i4. Historic: Andrew Rolle, "Turbulent Waters: Navigation and California's Southern Central Valley," California History no. 2 (1996): 135; Gerald Haslam, "The Lake That Will Not Die," California History no. 3 (1993): 263, 271. Popular: Mentioned briefly in Edward Hume, Mean Justice (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999), 18.
(2) Throughout California, the only other native turtle is the Sonoran mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense), constrained to the southeastern corner of California along the Lower Colorado River; Carl H. Ernst, Jeffrey E. Lovich, and Roger W. Barbour, Turtles of the United States and Canada (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1994), 191.
(3) L. M. Seeliger, "Variation in the Pacific Mud Turtle," Copeia 3 (1945): 151-159; A third potential subspecies from the Columbia Gorge in Oregon has been reported, but as yet remains undescribed; Dan C. Holland, "Level and Pattern in Morphological Variation: A Phylogeographic Study of the Western Pond Turtle Clemmys marmorata in Oregon" (Ph.D. diss., University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1992), 123..
(4) Seeliger, 158.
(5) W.N. Lockington, "Zoology: Notes on Some Reptiles and Batrachia of the Pacific Coast," American Naturalist no. 12 (1879): 781.
(6) Holland, "Level and Pattern," 1-24.
(7) Spencer F. Baird and Charles Girard, "Descriptions of New Species of Reptiles, Collected by the U.S. Exploring Expedition Under the Command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. First Part.--Including the species from the Western coast of America," Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 6 (1852): 177.
(8) Edward Hallowell, "Report of Explorations in California for Railroad Routes to Connect with the Routes near the 35th and 32nd Parallels of North Latitude; Zoological Report, Report Upon Reptiles of the Route," vol. X, part IV, no. 1 (1859) in Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Charles Wilkes (Washington, DC: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1856-1860): 3. Another specimen of Emys nigra was also apparently collected from San Francisco; Elmer Charles Herber, Correspondence Between Spencer Fullerton Baird and Louis Agassiz--Two Pioneer American Naturalists (Washington, DC: The Smithsonian Institution, 1963), 131.
(9) Herber, Correspondence, 131.
(10) Louis Agassiz, Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America, first monograph, vol. I & II, part III, Embryology of the Turtle; with Thirty-four Plates (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1857), Plate III.
(11) Alexander Strauch, Chelonologische Studien, mit Besonderer Beziehungauf die Schildkrotensammlung der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften za St. Petersburg, M6moires de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St.-Petersbourg, Serie 7, Tome 5, No 7 (1862), 108-117.
(12) John Edward Gray, Supplement to the Catalogue of Shield Reptiles in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Testudinata (Tortoises) with Figures of the Skulls of 36 Genera (London, 1870), 27.
(13) Edward D. Cope, Check-list of the North American Batrachia and Reptilia; with a Systematic List of the Higher Groups, and an Essay on Geographical Distribution Based on the Specimens Contained in the U.S. National Museum (Washington, DC: Government Print-ing Office, 1875), 55.
(14) John Van Denburgh, "The Reptiles of the Pacific Coast and Great Basin--An Account of the Species Known to Inhabit California, and Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada," Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 5 (1897): 29-30.
(15) William J. Wallace, "Southern Valley Yokuts," in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 8, California, William C. Sturtevant, ed., (Washington. DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978), 449
(16) Frank Forrest Latta, Handbook of Yokuts Indians (Oildale, CA: Bear State Books, 1949), 149; Thomas Jefferson Mayfield, Indian Summer: Traditional Life Among the Choi-numne Indians of California's San Joaquin Valley (Berkeley: Heyday Books and the California Historical Society, 1993).
(17) Annie R. Mitchell, "Phantom Tulare Lake," Tulare County Historical Society Newsletter 1, no. 8 (1970): 169-170.
(18) Judith F. Porcasi, "Part 2. Analysis of Faunal Remains Recovered From CA-TUL-1613, The Creighton Ranch Nature Preserve Site, Tulare County, California," in Contributions to Tulare Lake Archaeology III: Archaeological Investigations at CA-TUL-1613, The Creighton Ranch Site, Tulare County, California, The Tulare Lake Archaeological Research Group, Judith F. Porcasi, ed. (2000): 17, 44.
(19) As summarized by Joan S. Schneider and G. Dicken Everson, "The Desert Tortoise (Xerobates agassizii) in the Prehistory of the Southwestern Great Basin and Adjacent Areas," Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology no. 2 (1989): 189-192.
(20) Charles A. Bohakel, The Indians of Contra Costa County: The Costanoan and Yokuts Indians (Amarillo, TX: P & H. Publishers, 1977), 25.
(21) (Archeological site CA-SCL-690) Mark G. Hylkema, "Tamien Station Archaeological Project," in The Ohlone Past and Present: Native Americans of the San Francisco Bay Region, Ballena Press Anthrolopological Papers No. 421994, Lowell John Bean (Menlo Park: Ballena Press, 1994), 263.
(22) As summarized by Schneider and Everson, "The Desert tortoise," 191.
(23) A.L. Kroeber, Handbook of the Indians of California (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1976), 547, 526.
(24) Carl H. Ernst, Jeffrey E. Lovich, and Roger W. Barbour, Turtles, 49.
(26) Archie Carr, Handbook of Turtles: The Turtles of the United States, Canada, and Baja California (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1952), 126.
(27) H.M. Smith, "Notes of a reconnaissance of the Fisheries of the Pacific Coast of the United States in 1884," Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 14 (1895): 282. Mark R. Jennings, "An Annotated Check List of the Amphibians and Reptiles of California and Adjacent Waters" (Third, revised edition), California fish and Game, vol. 90, no. 4 (2004): 193
(28) Among other marketable, non-native species such as lobster, oysters, blue crab, and tautog; State Board of Fish Commissioners of the State of California, "Fifteenth Biennial Report of the State Board of Fish Commissioners of the State of California, for the years 1897-1898," (1900): 8. Mark R. Jennings, "An Annotated Check List of the Amphibians and Reptiles of California and Adjacent Waters (Third, revised edition), California Fish and Game, vol. 90, no. 4 (2004): 193.
(29) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1931-1933, 12 July 1933, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1699.
(30) "A Valuable Turtle: He was advertised for soup every day," Los Angeles Times, (26 May 1896) 2.
(31) State Board of Fish Commissioners of the State of California, "Thirteenth Biennial Report of the State Board of Fish Commissioners of the State of California, for the years 1893-1894" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1894): 87-88.
(32) Wallace W. Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California (San Francisco: Wallace W. Elliot and Co., 1883) History of Tulare County, California (San Francisco: Wallace W. Elliot and Co., 1883), 176.
(33) James Graham Cooper, "New California Animals," Proceedings of the California Academy of Natural Sciences vol. 2(1863), 121.
(34) Titus Fey Cronise, The Natural Wealth of California (San Francisco: H.H. Bancroft & Co., 1868), 480-481.
(35) Frederick W True, "Section I. Natural History of Useful Aquatic Animals, with an Atlas of Two Hundred and Seventy-seven Plates," in The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, George Brown Goode (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1884), 157-158. Frank Forrest Latta, Little Journeys in the San Joaquin (mounted extracts from the Livingston Chronicle, July 15, 1937 to January 20, 1938), 3.
(36) Lockington, "Zoology," 781.
(37) Tracy Irwin Storer, "Notes on the Range and Life-History of the Pacific Fresh-Water Turtle, Clemmys marmorata," University of California Publications in Zoology 32, no. 5 (1930): 439-440; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613.
(38) Lockington, "Zoology," 781.
(39) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1931-1933, 10 December 1931, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1507-1510.
(40) Wallace W. Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California, 155; History of Tulare County, 176; Dan C. Holland, "Synopsis of the Ecology of the Western Pond Turtle, Clemmys marmorata," Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Ecology Research Center (Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1989): 13.
(41) Wallace W. Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California, 176; History of Tulare County, California, 152.
(42) Commissioners of Fisheries of the State of California, "Biennial Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries of the State of California, for 1885-1886, Sacramento, California" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1886): 8.
(43) Thomas Hincklay Thompson, official Historical Map of Tulare County: Compiled, Drawn, and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys (Limited Editions of Visalia, Inc., 1973), 10.
(44) J.W. Collins, "Report of the Commissioner for 1888, Part XVI" United States Commission offish and Fisheries, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1892) 141; William A. Wilcox, "Report of the Commissioner for the Year Ending June 30, 1893, Part XIX" United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895), 209.
(45) State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Seventh Biennial Report for the Years 1920-1922" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1923); State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Eighth Biennial Report for the Years 1922-1924" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1924): 104-105; State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Ninth Biennial Report for the Years 1924-1926" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1927): 118-119.
(46) H.M. Smith, "Notes of a Reconnaissance," 286; William A. Wilcox, "Report of the Commissioner for the Year Ending June 30, 1896, Part XXII" United States Commission offish and Fisheries, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1895) 650-652.
(47) William A. Wilcox, "Report of the Commissioner for the Year Ending June 30, 1901, Part XXVII" United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902), 554-555.
(48) Department of Commerce and Labor, "The Commercial Fisheries of the Pacific Coast States in 1904" Bureau of Fisheries, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907) 61-62.
(49) State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Sixth Biennial Report for the Years 1918-1920" (Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1921): 126-127.
(51) State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Seventh Biennial Report for the Years 1920-1922" (1923); State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Eighth Biennial Report for the Years 1922-1924" (1924): 104-105; State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Twenty-Ninth Biennial Report for the Years 1924-1926" (1927): 118-119.
(52) State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Thirty-First Biennial Report for the Years 1928-1930" (1930): 176-177; State of California Fish and Game Commission, "Thirty-Second Biennial Report for the Years 1930-1932" (1932): 122-123; California Department of Fish and Game, California Fish and Game 17, no. 3 0930; California Department of Fish and Game, California Fish and Game 18, no. 2 (1931).
(53) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1931-1933, 10 December 1931, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1507-1510.
(54) Oscar Lee Brauer, "'Turtles' of the West: Concerning a Tortoise that has Speed," Nature Magazine 14, no. 5 (1929): 303.
(55) Charles F. Girard, United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. Under the Command of Charles Wilhes, U.S.N. Atlas. Herpetology (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1858), 470, Plate 32.
(56) Edward Hallowell, "Report of Explorations in California," 26, Plate I.
(57) Alexander Strauch, Cheonologische Studien, 108-117.
(58) Alexander Strauch, Bemerkungen Uber die Schildkrotensammlung im Zoologischen Museum der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu St. Petersburg, Memoires de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St.Petersbourg, Serie 7, Tome 38, No 2 (1890), 72-73.
(59) Titus Fey Cronise, 480-481.
(60) Wallace W. Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California, 155. History of Tulare County, California, 176.
(61) Frederick W True, "Section I. Natural History of Useful Aquatic Animals," 157-158.
(62) H.M. Smith, "Notes of a Reconnaissance," 281.
(63) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 614.
(64) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1925-1927, 16 October 1925, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 835-836; Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 436.
(65) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1928-1930, 20 March 1929, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1155.
(66) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613-614; Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 440.
(67) Pierre Fidenci, communication with author, 9 August 2004.
(68) Wallace W Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California. History of Tulare County, California, 176.
(69) Frank Forrest Latta, Little Journeys in the San Joaquin, 42.
(70) Brooks D. Gist, Empire Out of the Tules (Dexter. MI: Thomson-Shore Inc., 1976), 199-200.
(71) Frank Forrest Latta, Little Journeys in the San Joaquin, 42; Brooks D. Gist, Empire Out of the Tules, 199-200.
(72) Robert R. Brown and J. E. Richard, History of Kings County (Hanford, WA: A.H. Cawston, 1940), 117.
(73) See also Haslam, "The Lake that Will Not Die," 271.
(74) Annie R. Mitchell, Land of the Tules (Fresno: Valley Publishers, 1972), 4.
(75) Wallace W. Elliot and Co., History of Kern County, California, 176; History of Tulare County, California. Latta, Little Journeys on the San Joaquin, 42.
(76) H.M. Smith, 281; Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 439-440; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1928-1930, 20 March 1929, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1155; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613-614.
(77) Smith, 281-282.
(78) Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 439-440; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613-614.
(79) Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 439-440; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613-614.
(80) Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 439-440; Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1920-1924, 16 March 1923, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 613-614.
(81) Lockington, "Zoology," 781.
(82) Dan C. Holland, "A Synopsis of the Ecology and Status of the Western Pond Turtle (Clemmys marmorata) in 1991," Report to National Ecology Research Center, Washington, DC: (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992): 72.
(83) Tracy Irwin Storer, Notes on the Range and Life-History, 439-440.
(84) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1925-1927, 16 October 1925, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 835-836.
(85) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1931-1933, 10 December 1931, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1507-1510.
(86) Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory (San Francisco: H.S. Crocker Co., 1907, 1910-1916, 1918-1924); Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory (San Francisco: R.L. Polk & Co., 1925-1931).
(87) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1925-1927, 16 October 1925, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 835-836.
(88) Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory (San Francisco: H.S. Crocker Co., 1907, 1910-1916, 1918-1924); Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory (San Francisco: R.L. Polk & Co., 1925-1931).
(89) Tracy Irwin Storer, Field Notes 1925-1927, 16 October 1925, "Tracy Irwin Storer Collection," California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 835-836.
(90) Mark R. Jennings, Use of Herpetological Museum Specimens Collected by Joseph Grinnell and His Students: A 21st Century Perspective, presentation at "The Grinnell Legacy: Using Historical Records to Address Contemporary Conservation Concerns in California," 2004 Annual Conference of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society, Rohnert Park, CA, 27 February 2004.
(91) As cited by Dan C. Holland, "Synopsis of the Ecology of the Western Pond Turtle, Clemmys marmorata," Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Ecology Center (Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1989): 13-14. Frank Forrest Latta, Little Journeys in the San Joaquin, 42 [in the past, the source of this quote has been undocumented, or in one case, misattributed to Vanishing Landscapes, Land and Life in the Tulare Lake Basin, California, William Preston (University of California Press, 1981).
(92) Haslam, "The Lake That Will Not Die," 256-261. Frank Forrest Latta, Little Journeys in the San Joaquin, 42 [in the past, the source of this quote has been undocumented, or in one case, misattributed to Vanishing Landscapes, Land and Life in the Tulare Lake Basin, California, William Preston (University Of California Press, 1981)].
(93) United States Fish and Wildlife Service, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-day Finding and Commencement of Status Reviews for a Petition to List the Western Pond Turtle and California Red-legged Frog," 50 CFR, part 17, vol. 57, no. 193 (1992): 45761-45762; United States Fish and Wildlife Service, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of I-Year Petition Finding on the Western Pond Turtle," 50 CFR, part 17, vol. 58, no. 153 (1993): 42717-42718.
(94) United States Fish and Wildlife Service, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-day Finding and Commencement of Status Reviews for a Petition to List the Western Pond Turtle and California Redlegged Frog," 510 CFR, part 17, vol. 57, no. 193 (1992): 45762.
(95) Sam Sweet, communication with author, 24 November 2003; Harold De Lisle, communication with author, 23 November 2003.
Matthew Bettelheim is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in Science, majoring in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution. He is a wildlife biologist with Sycamore Associates LLC, and an intern with Bay Nature magazine. His previous work has appeared in Faultline, Earth Island Journal, Outdoor California, Bay Nature, and California Wild. "Marmorata ... " is the culmination of over two years worth of research. Anyone with further information on the historical western pond turtle fisheries can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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