Turtles of the Month - Student Corner
Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)
Description Highly domed shell that is tan, brown, olive or black. Boxed appearance due to its ability to close its front and back end completely.
Habitat Mainly a land turtle, but sometimes soaks in freshwater ponds. Found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, meadows and wetlands with good cover.
Diet Consists mainly of grasses, leaves, fungus, insects, crustaceans, berries, slugs, snails and earthworms.
Status Protected by the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
Threats Include: habitat destruction due to residential and industrial development; mortality on roads and mowed fields; collection for pets; increased predation in urban areas; disturbance of nest sites by off road vehicles; and genetic degradation, or change in a species gene pool due to the addition of non-local genes, from the release of non-native turtles.
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