North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Research Continues on North Carolina’s Box Turtle

Author: NCWRC blogger/Thursday, August 10, 2017/Categories: Conservation

Research Continues on North Carolina’s Box Turtle

North Carolina Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) are a priority species in the state's Wildlife Action Plan, a comprehensive planning tool to help conserve and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats. In 2007, a 100-year Box Turtle Connection study commenced to help us learn more about the status and trends in box turtle populations, identify threats, and develop strategies for long-term species conservation. The study aims to gather baseline data on population size and structure for long-term monitoring, engage citizens in scientific data collection, study how box turtle populations differ across the state, determine the status of box turtles in North Carolina and the factors that limit box turtle populations.

Currently, there are more than 30 active research study sites, including many state parks, across North Carolina where data is routinely collected. Once found, a turtle’s location is documented and the turtle is then weighed, measured, sexed, photographed and permanently marked. This data is then entered into a central, online database managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

As a citizen of North Carolina, there are ways you can take a hands-on approach helping biologists learn more about box turtles, to find out how you can be involved or for more information on the project, visit https://boxturtle.uncg.edu/. For a list of tips on how you can help box turtles, visit https://boxturtle.uncg.edu/what-is-the-box-turtle-connection/what-can-i-do-to-help/

A century from now the box turtles we are studying today and their offspring will be educating the next generation of scientists, lay-scientists, and other folks who care about the natural world.  

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