Western Pond Turtle

Actinemys marmorata

Order: 

Testudines

Family: 

Emydidae

The western pond turtle is found in ponds, rivers, reservoirs, sewage treatment ponds, and vernal pools ranging from aquatic ecosystem in western Washington to North Baja California (3). The shell of an adult western pond turtle can be up to 21cm in length with a dark spotted pattern or lines off the bony external plate with a olive brown to gray color (1). This turtle has gray skin with traces of yellow that can be found on the limbs (1). There has been a notable decline in populations as observed in Washington where it is an endangered species, and of concern in both Oregon and California (2). To combat this issue, the impacts of urbanization on aquatic environments that these turtles inhabit is important since they require proper vegetation and flat platform above water (basking sites) where they can raise their body temperature by the sun and promote digestion and overall health (2).

 

 

(1) Jeff Lovich, United States Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0427

(2) Spinks, P. Q., Pauly, G. B., Crayon, J. J., & Shaffer, H. B. (2003). Survival of the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) in an urban California environment. Biological Conservation, 113, 257-267.

(3) Reese Devin A. Use of Terrestrial Habitat by Western Pond Turtles, Clemmys marmorata: Implications for Management. USDA Forest Service.