Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eastern Box Turtle

Our State reptile and only true land based turtle.  While yes, we see snappers, Yellow-bellied Sliders and Painted turtles on land also, they are amphibious.  You will never see an Eastern Box Turtle in the water.....not intentionally anyway.

I put this one outside the fence surrounding the backyard on Friday.  Today is was back in the fenced yard again.  I guess he or she calls the backyard its territory so I left it alone.

You can see new growth (light colored areas in the scutes) on this one which will eventually turn dark.  Eastern Box turtle numbers have declined over the last several years.  Although they have a long life, they are slow to mature (7 years to full maturity), late to reproduce and the female lays few eggs.


Coppertop said...

How pretty, I love those colors! I've seen painted turtles and snappers but never a box turtle, thank you for sharing.

ME2NC said...

How cute! Just isn't fair - you see this cute little turtle in your yard and I saw a snake today! Go figure!!

Metis Birding said...

My favorite turtle! I used to work for the state parks and got to learn so much about these little guys. This time of year, when they're moving to their breeding/nesting grounds, they will traverse pretty much anything. It's a good rule of thumb if you plan on helping them get through your backyard, cross a busy road, etc. to always take them in the direction that they were heading. Otherwise, they will turn right back around and try again. Talk about strong instincts!