Eastern Box Turtle

Species Name: Terrapene carolina

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Species Distribution in Massachusetts

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Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Special Concern

Habitat Description

Terrestrial, particularly found in dry and moist woodlands, brushy fields, thickets, marsh edges, bogs, swales, fens, stream banks, and well-drained bottomland.

Threats to Survival

Habitat destruction from residential and industrial development, road mortality, the pet trade, mowing of fields and early successional habitat during the active season, unnaturally inflated rates of predation in suburban and urban areas, off road vehicles and genetic degredation due to the interbreeding with pet store turtles.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

Habitat needs to be assessed and prioritized based on the extent, quality and juxtaposition of habitats and their predicted ability to support self-sustaining populations. Conservation restrictions and Agricultural Preservation Restrictions are also likely to help in the absence of funds. Wildlife passage corridor structures can help curb road fatalities, along with education initiatives on the effects releasing pet store turtles and off-road vehicles have on nesting and breeding populations.