Bog Turtles at the CNC

Did you know there is a turtle in Roswell measuring only 4.5 inches in length?

The bog turtle, the smallest turtle in the U.S., is facing extinction due to predators and unscrupulous wildlife collectors. If you are lucky enough to see a bog turtle out and about during your summer adventures, you might recognize them by their prominent orange, yellow, or red blotch on each side of the head behind their eye.

Sadly, their populations are continuing to dwindle and are now separated by 400 miles along the east coast into northern and southern populations, mainly inhabiting areas of New York and Georgia. In 1997, the bog turtle was placed on the Endangered Species list and has since then faced the illegal pet trade, as well as habitat loss of their wetlands.

Currently, there are estimated to be 2,500 to 10,000 bog turtles in the wild, and efforts are being made to protect and grow their populations.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center has been committed to preserving the habitat of bog turtles through work with community partners and environmental agencies. In 2005, staff from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Tennessee Aquarium, U.S. Forest Service, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service successfully released bog turtles into a restored mountain bog habitat in North Georgia. Today, they are still committed to preserving the habitats of bog turtles in our communities.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center helps rehabilitate a variety of wildlife after these animals are unable to live in the wild. In line with upcoming Earth Day, we salute our Chattahoochee Nature Center, whose mission it is to connect people with nature.