The Bog Turtle is a semi-aquatic turtle native to the NE United States. They are diurnal and secretive, found in moist habitats (preferably fens and bogs) where they spend most of their time buried in the mud. They are small turtles, weighing up to 1.1 Kg (3.9 oz), and reaching a length of 9.4 cm (3.7 in). This species has been known to live up to 40 years in the wild. They feed on a variety of aquatic plants and semi-aquatic plants, berries, small invertebrates, frogs, salamanders, and other small vertebrates.
Destruction of habitat by development and non-native invasive plants, the artificial inflation of populations of mid sized predators (such as skunks and foxes) by eradication of larger predators, and disease have severely affected the Bog Turtle. The aforementioned causes partnered with the relatively low reproductive rate of the species has lead to precipitous declines in population. In some areas, the species is considered Critically Endangered, while it is considered “threatened” by the federal government.
Many states, as well as federal authorities, zoos, and non-profit organizations are currently working to save these beautiful little turtles.
Find out more about efforts to save this turtle, and get involved:
(photos: T - adult hiding in the mud, Richard Bonnett; BL - adult, USFWS-NE Region; BM - hatchling, Rosie Walunas/USFWS; BR - 4 yo Juvenile, Richard Bonnett)