Friday, July 12, 2013

Turtle-tpc-sawgrass_640We all know crocs and gators have made their homes on golf courses, but
these days, there are some other, kinder reptiles showing up in the ponds near
tee boxes, fairways, and greens. As National Geographic reports, more and more well-managed courses have
become refuges for turtles looking for homes

No one
advocates flattening an ancient woodland to build 18 new holes. But scientists
say that a golf course in the right place, built and maintained in the right
way, can be an oasis for creatures from bluebirds to beetles.
For the
turtles of North Carolina, golf ponds "are providing something that other
ponds are not," says University of Kentucky herpetologist Steven Price, a
co-author of the two new turtle papers.
"So maybe
they're the lesser of two evils."



golf ball divers have to tangle with



except for those Golf.com has highlighted in
the past


"There's
potential for [courses] to be really good habitat if they're managed
properly" and contain enough suitable water and land, says Guzy.
Turtles aren't
alone in enjoying a little time on the links. When researchers did a summary
analysis of a host of studies comparing golf courses with other kinds of green
space, they found that courses were more ecologically valuable than farmland in
nearly 65 percent of the comparisons made in the studies. More surprisingly,
golf courses outstripped state parks and nature reserves in ecological value in
half the cases.




(Photo: John Biever / Sports Illustrated)

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