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This year (2011) happens to be the year of the turtle and the Virginia Herpetological Society is asking for your help reporting sightings of the Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina. Eastern box turtles grow to about 8 inches long but can live to 80-100 years old.
Our eastern box turtle friends are susceptible to human activity, especially cars, lawn mowers and bulldozers. They have been listed as lower risk-near threatened on the International Union for conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. So every time you see an eastern box turtle this spring help keep track of what’s happening to them. Go online to the Virginia Herps Society website and fill out the form letting them know where exactly you saw your box turtle and what condition it was in.
If you see a turtle trying to get to the other side of the road and you’d like to give it a hand, don’t set it back where it started. These guys have internal homing devices, so it will just start crossing the road again. Also, never throw a turtle. They likely will not survive the fall.