New York

Bog Turtle – Glyptemys muhlenbergii

  • Status – Critically endangered
  • Estimated numbers – Between 2,500 and 10,000
  • Population trend – Currently unknown
  • Location – Bog turtle populations are divided into two distinct areas separated by 250 miles. The northern populations are found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The southern populations are in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Why are they are under threat – Bog turtles are one of the rarest turtles in the United States. Laws banning the collection of the turtles for sale have done little to stop the practice, with bog turtles being a prized species in many animal black markets. They are extremely sensitive to the effects of global warming. The turtle’s survival is closely tied to its delicate habitat. Erratic weather patterns resulting from global warming will disrupt the fragile balance key to the turtle’s survival. By altering hydrological cycles, global warming will either dry out or flood the turtle’s habitat. In addition to bog turtles needing a very specific home, roads and development have fragmented much of their remaining habitat. As the changing climate alters the availability of the turtle’s current habitat, they will have very limited ability to migrate to places that could be more suitable.
  • What can you do – Key conservation measures focus on protecting habitat from destruction, degradation, pollution and conversion. It’s also important to manage habitat vegetation, monitor populations, climate change impact and address illegal trade. Support the activity of the Turtle Conservancy.
  • Species foundation – www.turtleconservancy.org

Image: Louis Masai

Image: Tee Byford

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Tee Byford

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: @zurbaran1

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Emil Walker

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Louis Masai

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Tee Byford

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Tee Byford

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: @zurbaran1

louis masai mural in new york of a bog turtle

Image: Louis Masai

© Louis Masai 2016