WHO ARE THESE NATIVE TURTLES AND HOW CAN YOU HELP THEM?
Turtles are so cute, right?
If I asked you to name 10 animals from Africa, I bet you could do it in a flat second. But, let me ask you to name 10 Native turtles from New York State, or even North America, and I bet most of you couldn't name more than one or two.
I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad or stupid, but I want you to understand just how overlooked the plight of these native turtles is and how much trouble these little guys are in. Back in the late 60's and 70's, many thousands of turtles were taken from the wild in New York State and used for the pet trade both here in the United States and in Europe. Between that and the urbanization of our wet lands, forests and meadows, the turtle population was pretty devastated.
Thankfully, we now have laws that protect native turtles and prohibit their ownership, but we all must do more to make ourselves aware of our native species and the small things we can do to help protect them. In case you'd like to do more reseatch, to the right is a list of turtles native to New York State - many of which you will see are threatened.,
Checklist of the 18 Turtle Species Found In New YorkCommon Snapping Turtle
Stinkpot or Common Musk Turtle
Eastern Mud Turtle (Threatened)
Spotted Turtle (Special Concern)
Bog Turtle (Endangered)
Wood Turtle (Special Concern)
Eastern Box Turtle
Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Special Concern)
Redbelly Turtle (Not native - introduced)
Common Map TurtleRed-eared Slider (Not native - introduced)
Painted Turtle (Two subspecies)
Eastern Painted Turtle
Midland Painted Turtle
Blanding's Turtle (Threatened)
Eastern Spiny Softshell Green Turtle (Threatened)
Atlantic Hawksbill (Endangered)
Atlantic (Kemp's) Ridley (Endangered)
Leatherback Sea Turtle (Endangered)