Vermont has a total of seven native turtle species. Painted Turtles are one of our most common turtle species. Yet, there are 64 towns without a verified Painted Turtle observation. Many of these are central Vermont mountain towns where Painted Turtles are likely to be less abundant, but they may well be present. Your mission is to find and document this turtle in the missing towns for the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, a project begun in 1994 to map the distribution of all reptiles and amphibians in the state.
Painted Turtles can frequently be seen basking on logs or rocks in or along still water lakes and ponds. They are unusual in that hatchlings usually overwinter in the nest underground before emerging the following spring.
Check the list of 64 towns with missing observations listed below and get out and explore, photograph and submit your sightings to iNaturalist Vermont. All observations in iNaturalist are shared with the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas and added to their database.
But don’t just limit yourself to the missing towns. Photos of any turtle species from any place in Vermont help us to understand their distribution now and compare changes in the future.
Towns Missing Painted Turtle Reports
I would like to report sightings of large painted turtles in Colton pond in Killington, Rutland County yesterday, the 5th August. Unfortunately I was unable to take any photographs.
Killington is on your list of towns that have not yet reported painted turtles.
This is great. Thanks so much. If you have not checked it out and tried it, here’s our Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist project – https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vermont-atlas-of-life. It is super fun and easy to use. If you can post an image of the turtles, and really anything you’d like, it helps us learn more and more about our biodiversity and natural heritage. Thanks!
We have a ton of painted turtles in our pond in West Topsham.
A painted turtle was found on our property on Lake Champlain in Georgia. It was about 7 inches in diameter.
We have a painted turtle laying her second clutch of eggs on our lawn in Northfield VT. We are protecting the nests from predators until a week before estimated hatching.
Like clockwork every June snapping turtles come up and create multiple nests on our lawn here in Mount Tabor. Would love to protect the eggs because they are raided every year also like clockwork. What have you done? Have you build a fence around them?