Are Box Turtle Numbers Declining in the Area?

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LEBANON, OH --  Earlier in the month Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Dave Woehr had a surprise in his yard ... a young box turtle. 

"This is a first for our Catalpa house. Remy found this large box turtle under our breakfast flower bed. I'm glad I got this picture because he has already moved," Woehr said.

Box Turtles are becoming increasingly rare across their range, probably due to habitat loss.

"I used to see 25 a year. Now lucky if I see one. Last one I saw was a year ago in Caesar Creek State Park. Before that - seven years ago!" Woehr added.

According to the Chattahoochee Nature Center Although they are still common in many areas, box turtles have declined over much of their range, probably due largely to habitat destruction by man due to highways, lawn mowers and dogs.

Like other reptiles, box turtles must hibernate during cold winter weather. They burrow deep under the soil and leaves, sometime in October, and usually emerge in April or early May. To learn more about box turtles visit Chattahoochee Nature Center.

Photos courtesy of Dave Woehr

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