Wood Turtle

Glyptemys insculpta

Wood turtleNH Conservation Status: Species of Special Concern, Wildlife Action Plan Species in Greatest Need of Conservation. Legally protected in New Hampshire: possession, sale, import, and take (harm, harass, injuring, killing) is illegal.

State Rank Status: Vulnerable to extirpation and extinction.

Distribution: Throughout NH except regions of high elevation.

Description: A 5-8 inch turtle characterized by its highly sculpted shell where each large scute takes an irregular pyramidal shape. The neck and forelimbs are orange.

Commonly Confused Species: Juvenile snapping turtles.

Habitat: Found in slow-moving streams and channels with sandy bottoms. Extensive use of terrestrial habitats during summer, including floodplains, meadows, woodlands, fields, as well as wetlands.

Life History: Lay 4-12 eggs in shallow depressions in sandy, well-drained soils. Nest sites are usually near streams but may also be in clearings, agricultural fields, or other disturbed areas. Hibernate in slow-moving streams and rivers under riverbanks, root masses, or woody debris.

Conservation Threats: Road mortality, Habitat loss and fragmentation, stream alteration, human collection, and increased abundance of subsidized predators.

Wildlife Action Plan Species Profile

Distribution Map