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Turtle Research returns to The County Line on the Lake - "Drink Beer. Save Turtles"

·5 min read

The Turtle Survival Alliance's North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group and County Line on the Lake BBQ are again teaming up to celebrate all things turtle on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, 2022 at County Line on the Lake, 5204 FM 2222, Austin, TX. The County Line on the Lake BBQ restaurant and Zilker Brewing Company will "shellebrate" its customers with its annual Turtlemania from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 18. Turtlemania 2022 will live up to its motto of "Drink Beer. Save Turtles" by offering Parks & Rec Pale Ale beers from local Zilker Brewing Company.

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Turtle Survival Alliance's North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group and County Line on the Lake BBQ are again teaming up to celebrate all things turtle on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, 2022 at County Line on the Lake, 5204 FM 2222, Austin, TX.

The County Line on the Lake BBQ restaurant and Zilker Brewing Company will "shellebrate" its customers with its annual Turtlemania from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 18. Turtlemania 2022 will live up to its motto of "Drink Beer. Save Turtles" by offering Parks & Rec Pale Ale beers from local Zilker Brewing Company that evening at the discounted price of $4. Proceeds from the beer sales will go to the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group.

The Turtle Survival Alliance and Turtlemania 2022 strive to bring awareness to the plight of turtles in the nation's lakes and creeks and inform Austinites of the turtles that make Bull Creek their home. In September at County Line, that equates to two days of research.

The public is welcome to watch and/or talk to the TSA-North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group from noon to 5 p.m. on September 17 and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 18, as volunteers and divers from all over the country:

  • capture the turtles and bring them to land

  • tag new turtles with a small micro-chip

  • examine new turtles, and those tagged from 2016 – 2021 (except for 2020) which will equate to nearly 800 unique turtles representing six native species. Activities include measuring, weighing, and determining the sex and the health of the turtles

  • all turtles are released back into the lake

County Line on the Lake sits on Bull Creek, right off Lake Austin. Its turtles are so numerous and so healthy that the TSA's North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group has done research at the restaurant from 2016-2021 (except for 2020) on six species: including the Texas river cooter, Texas map turtle, Guadalupe softshell, red-eared slider, eastern musk turtle, and the eastern snapping turtle. County Line is one of only three sites in Texas researched by this group.

"The TSA – North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group prides itself on long-term projects. We have consecutively studied sites in Florida for over 22 years. We sampled Bull Creek at County Line for five consecutive years before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit in 2020 but returned in 2021. We were so pleased to be able to continue this the turtle research after the pandemic. As a whole, the turtle assemblage at County Line may indeed act as a keystone species. The large number of turtles that utilize this habitat is a good sign of ecosystem health," says Eric Munscher, Director of the Turtle Survival Alliance's North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group. "Austin has a lot of turtle fans, as shown by the many people and families who have come out in the past years and watched us from tables on County Line's property, enjoying a picnic and interacting with the research team—and certainly some turtles when possible!"

"The concept behind the research is long-term (15+ years) population monitoring and modeling, to see over time how healthy they are, how many turtles are using the habitat of each species, what the sex ratios are, the percent survivability over time (how long they are living within the ecosystem), growth, diet, etc. We plan to visit County Line and its turtles annually in an effort to get more important data from this amazing turtle assemblage."

Why save turtles? "From the Texas River Cooter eating tons of vegetation to the Eastern Musk and Texas Map turtles eating macroinvertebrates, to the Eastern Snapping turtle eating carrion and a host of other things—turtles are important overall to the ecosystem. They are eaten throughout their life history (providing food to a variety of other wildlife), and in turn are voracious eaters themselves. Turtles are extremely important to conserve in the wild because they are extremely important to the ecosystems in which they live. Without the turtles present certain ecosystem functions do not occur and as such the ecosystem is damaged. Some species of turtles are known as keystone species or even ecosystem engineers (Gopher tortoise is a good example) where it is known that over 400 species of plants, insects, and animals rely on this species for some aspect of their life history," Munscher adds.

"With a family tree that is 300 million years old, turtles have roamed the earth virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, these remarkable reptiles are now facing extinction. Within the next 20 years, as many as one-third of the world's 300 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles may be gone due to poaching for the international illegal market. At least ten species are now extinct in the wild and exist only in captive breeding programs."

County Line on the Lake is located at 5204 FM 2222 in Austin, Texas. Visit http://www.countyline.com or follow the County Line on the Lake on Facebook for updates on all the restaurant's events, Happy Hours and specials. Call 512-346-3664 for more information.

The Turtle Survival Alliance's mission is to transform passion for turtles into effective conversation action through a global network of living collections and recovery programs. The TSA's North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group is composed of professional scientists, students, and interested members of the public who want to make a difference. Visit http://www.turtlesurvival.org/ for more information.

Media Contact

Jeanne Albrecht, County Line, 2103929047, jca@jeannebiz.com

SOURCE County Line