Mount Saint-√Čtienne slopes natural area (Photo by NCC)

Mount Saint-√Čtienne slopes natural area (Photo by NCC)

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

Painted turtle

There are three subspecies of painted turtle in Canada: eastern, western and midland.

Identification

The largest of the three is the western subspecies, which grow up to 25 centimetres. All painted turtles have a dark carapace with red markings on the edge of the shell and yellow stripes on the head and neck.

Range and habitat

Canadian distribution of painted turtle (Map by NCC)

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Painted turtles can be found across southern Canada. They range from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, but are not often found in the prairies.

These turtles can be found living in ponds, marshes, lakes or creeks with slow moving water with a soft bottom. They enjoy basking in the sun but also require dense vegetation to hide from predators.

Conservation status

Pacific coast: Endangered

Intermountain: Special concern

Western boreal (Canadian shield): Not at risk

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