What can I do to help?

Want to Help Box Turtles? Here’s How.

1) Make your property box turtle friendly by leaving some areas unmowed and building brush piles if you have room!

2) We’re asking users with turtle sightings in N.C. or S.C (alive or dead) to report their sightings to the Herp Mapper (http://www.herpmapper.org/). Herpmapper.org is easy to use and tracks and logs sightings of reptiles and amphibians all over the world! To get started all you need to do is register with the website and login! You can then login via the website and upload photos and coordinates of your sightings. Or if you want to do it directly from your smart phone, guess what? There’s an app for that! http://www.herpmapper.org/mobile/mapper. Using the app uses your phone’s location services to select the GPS coordinates and prompts you to use the camera to take photos to sync to the database. Herpmapper.org also has great options to query their database. You can determine sightings by taxon, location, and date. A quick search for box turtle sightings in North Carolina returned 144 records! When you and your family and friends come across everyone’s favorite terrestrial turtle be sure and help us out by logging your sighting to Herpmapper!  We’re also asking for feedback about the Herp Mapper site, which we are trying out.  Please send all feedback to us at boxturtleproject@uncg.edu. Users might also want to keep paper records of their sightings and reports.

3) When possible to do safely, help box turtles across the road. Move them int he direction they are walking but only about 5-10 ft off the road.

4) Do not take box turtles from the wild as pets! When box turtles are taken from the wild to be pets, they are not able to breed, & the delicate balance of the box turtle population is thrown off. As more and more turtles are taken from the wild, less offspring are born and the population declines.

5) Do not move box turtles from one location to another. You can spread a disease from one population to another. Moving them is very stressful because they try to find their home, which can result in the turtle dying.

6) If a box turtle nests in your yard, leave the nest alone. You can create a cage made of hardware cloth or chicken wire to make it more difficult for predators to dig up the nest. Leave space for hatchlings to emerge.

7) Support the protection of wild areas & habitats where box turtles might live.

Thanks to Gabrielle Graeter, NC Wildlife Resources for these tips!