The Bog Turtle, Glyptemys muhlenbergii, is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. With a maximum shell length of 11 cm, this is one of the smallest turtle species in the world. It occurs in scattered small fragmented areas of spring-fed wetlands in the northeastern United States and southern Appalachian foothills.
Severe habitat loss due to draining and conversion to agricultural lands has been, and continues to be, a primary reason for decline, with the added impacts of agricultural pollutants and changing climate patterns affecting water quality and availability. With its rich chocolate-brown shell, bright orange head blotches, and small size, this species has also been in great demand for the pet trade.
Recent reports of disease outbreaks give additional cause for grave concern for the future of this rare species. Strict protective legislation from the US Endangered Species Act and CITES Appendix I listing prohibiting possession and trade have provided some protection for the species.