The Native North Carolina Southern Bog Turtle May Be Placed on Endangered Species List Soon

The Southern Bog Turtle – which is native to the Western region of the State of North Carolina – is considered the absolute smallest of all turtles within North America. There are small populations of the creature in the surrounding states, as well.Southern Bog Turtle

It is distinct from other turtles in that it has a yellow or an orange-colored patch situated on either side of its head. Recently, the Fish and Wildlife Service has considered adding it to the threatened or endangered species list. 

Mountain Bogs 

The Southern Bog Turtle is known to live in the mountain bogs. This is a specific region in the Southern region of the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, due to the environmental changes in the area and the development that is occurring within the region, the bogs are swiftly disappearing.

Not only are environmental conditions and the disappearance of the habitat affecting the region where they reside and thrive, but they are also threatened by the act of poaching. 

A Rarity 

The Southern Bog Turtle is considered to be one of the rarest and smallest of all species of turtles. It is also one that is considered to be facing the strongest threats.

In recent years, this turtle population has started to rapidly decline. To date, there are 14 locations where these populations remain. In total, it is believed that there are less than 2,000 alive today.

By placing them on the endangered list, the remaining bogs would be considered a highly critical habitat. In turn, this would offer protection from the dangers of further development. 

The Endangered Ecosystem 

The Southern Appalachian Mountain bogs are wetlands that are considered to be one of the most endangered of all ecosystems in the United States and beyond.

Once, there were over 5,000 acres of pure, untouched ecosystem. Now, there is a total of just under 500 acres remaining. In addition to endangering this turtle species, there are other endangered species in the ecosystem.

This includes the rare types of salamanders, the bunched arrowhead, as well as a plant identified as the “mountain sweet pitcher plant”. 

The Five Factors 

To be protected by the Endangered Species Act, there are five factors that must be considered. The Southern Bog Turtle qualifies in all of these. They are:

  1. The destruction of the habitat
  2. The overutilization of the habitat
  3. Disease and predation are occurring
  4. There are inadequate regulations in place
  5. Finally, the manmade factors implicating the species

The Black Market 

The Southern Bog Turtle is considered high in demand on the black market. In fact, poachers have the ability to make thousands of dollars, per turtle. While biologists have placed notches on the shells of many so that they are unable to be sold, it has only slowed this issue – not completely stopped it.

They are considered to be a delicacy, a source for certain types of medications, and even a highly sought-after pet. If you see this type of turtle in the wild, you should avoid contact.

If one or a population comes onto your property, you may contact us today at Palmetto Wildlife Extractors so that we may capture and remediate the animal. You may contact us today by calling: 855-465-1088

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