Marsh Turtles and Pond Turtles

All of North America's four kinds of pond turtle spend some time on land. Although the Wood turtle winters in a sheltered spot under water, at other times of year it may wander through woodlands, meadows, and plowed fields. The Spotted turtle likes to bask on grass tussocks in spring. The Pacific (Western) Pond turtle, the only freshwater turtle in most of its range (it overlaps slightly with the Painted turtle), is the most aquatic member of this group. Often seen basking alone on a favorite rock, log, or mudbank, it too is quick to dive when disturbed. The Bog turtle lives in scattered areas from New York to North Carolina. Bright yellow or orange blotches on the sides of its head contrast sharply with its basically brown shell. Like the other pond turtles, it feeds on mollusks and other small animals as well as on aquatic plants.

Conservation Status

Wood Turtles suffer greatly from habitat loss and degradation. The specialized wetland habitats used by Spotted Turtles have been widely drained and converted by humans into agricultural and residential land. Many of the remaining Spotted turtle populations are now very small and isolated.

Clemmys insculpta
(Wood Turtle ) - IUCN Red List 2000: Vulnerable (VU)

Clemmys muhlenbergii
(Bog Turtle, Muhlenberg's Turtle) - IUCN Red List 2000: Enda; Michigan and Ohio: State Threatened.
No Federal status.

Wood Turtle
Wood Turtle

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