Pond Turtles Proposed for Federal Listing

Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the Northwestern Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata) and Southwestern Pond Turtle (Actinemys pallida) as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. At the time the agency initiated this listing process the two taxa were considered the same species, Western Pond Turtle, which is reflected in the range map provided below. They are still combined as Western Pond Turtle in the California Natural Diversity Database. The Federal Register notice is located here. The introduced American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus – featured image by author), which feeds on their young, is highlighted as a key threat to both species.

Map: Combined Range of Northwestern and Southwestern Pond Turtles and American Bullfrog in California

Pond Turtle range is in red, Bullfrog range in yellow, overlap is orange. Source: California Wildlife Habitat Relationships database, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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