Turtles

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Painted Turtle

Painted Turtle, Vancouver Island, BCPainted Turtles can be found on the southeast side of Vancouver Island. The one in these photos was in the Victoria area. Painted turtles prefer the shores and shallows of lakes, ponds, ditches and sluggish creeks and streams that have muddy bottoms and a variety of aquatic plants. Painted turtles also require nearby upland nesting areas that face south, are relatively dry and the soil is easily dug for nesting sites. Read More….

 

Red Eared Slider Turtle

Red Eared Slider Turtle, Vancouver Island, BC

The red-eared turtle is an invasive species on Vancouver Island and could spell trouble for our painted turtle. Most have been released into the wild from people who purchased them as pets. The red-eared turtles are turning up in ponds and lakes across the coast. They are considered among the world’s 100 most invasive species. This turtle has a red earmark located just behind the eye. Read More….

 

 

Red Eared Slider Turtle, Vancouver Island, BC
Red Eared Slider Turtle, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Turtles live mainly in water, there are about 250 species of turtles. But we only have one indigenous turtle left on Vancouver Island. Some turtles can live up to 150 years or more.  The largest turtle that visits Vancouver Island is the leather back turtle, it can reach a shell length of almost 3 meters and weigh up to 900 kilos. Though turtles move very slow on land , the leather back turtle can swim at 30 kilometres, and some turtles can dive to more than a 1000 meters deep.

Turtles do not have ears to hear and can only feel vibrations, but their sense of smell is very strong. Turtles migrate thousands of kilometres by traveling under water and yet, they are able to arrive at the same beach from where they took off, scientists are still trying to figure out how they do this, l would suspect that they use their sense of smell to accomplish this.

Painted Turtle, Vancouver Island, BC
Painted Turtle, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The only native turtle left on Vancouver Island is the painted turtle, although there is the introduced red eared slider and the snapping turtle being found on parts of the Island now, a result of pet store turtles being turned loose.

 

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