Plants & Animals

Eastern Region Turtles

There are 37 species (including subspecies) of turtles in the Eastern Region. Certain threats affect all turtle mortality, such as road crossings, habitat loss, inadequate wetlands and the pet trade. However, each species of turtle has its own specific challenges. For example, wood turtles love the water and shoreline is important habitat for them. Changes in stream flow and impediments to their travel to find nest sites are a serious problem. To mitigate this, the Forest Service works with partners to redesign and replace culverts to allow turtles to move more easily.

By managing for healthy ecosystems, the Forest Service helps maintain populations of turtles on the landscape.

Following is a list of turtles in the Eastern Region: 


Mud & Musk Turtles

Pond Turtles

Striped Mud Turtle

Spotted Turtle

Ouachita Map Turtle

Yellow Mud Turtle

Blanding's Turtle

False Map Turtle

Eastern Mud Turtle

Wood Turtle

Mississippi Map Turtle

Eastern Musk Turtle

Bog Turtle

River Cooter

Striped-Necked Musk Turtle

Diamond Backed Terrapin

Northern Red-Bellied Cooter


Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern River Cooter

Softshell Turtles

Ornate Box Turtle

Coastal Plain Cooter

Smooth Softshell

Painted Turtle

Pond Slider

Midland Smooth Softshell

Southern Painted Turtle

Red-Eared Slider

Spiny Softshell

Eastern Painted Turtle

Yellow-Bellied Slider

Eastern Spiny Softshell

Chicken Turtle

Cumberland Slider


Eastern Chicken Turtle


Snapping Turtles

Northern Map Turtle


Snapping Turtle



Alligator Snapping Turtle



Eastern Snapping Turtle




Eastern Box Turtle Monitoring Project

Eastern Box Turtle

Partnership project between Grand Valley State University and the Huron-Manistee National Forest