Year of the Turtle
Northeast Region

Turtles of the Month - Student Corner


Diamondback terrapin. Credit: USFWS



Spotted turtle


Painted turtle


Red-eared Slider


Wood turtle. Credit: Linh Phu


Eastern Musk turtle


2011 Year of the turtle graphic

Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

Box turtle. Credit: USFWS
Box turtle

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.

To learn more, visit
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Chesapeake Bay Program
Turtle Conservation Project
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

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Last updated: September 7, 2011