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Western Pond Turtle
Western Pond Turtle


::Can I keep a wild turtle as a pet?

  • NO! It's illegal. Every native Oregon turtle left in the wild is precious and needs to find a mate and reproduce!

::How can I get turtles for my pond?

  • Improve the habitat around your pond and keep your fingers crossed that native turtles will find you.
  • Do not catch and release wild turtles into your pond. It's illegal to move native turtles from one place to another.

::If I see a turtle on a busy road that's sure to be hit by a car, is it OK to help it across the road?

  • Yes! Please put the turtle on the shoulder of the road toward which it was headed. If possible, watch the turtle for several minutes to make sure it does not turn around and head back onto the road and into traffic.
  • Wash your hands afterward. Turtles can carry salmonella and may have many types of parasites.

::I saw a turtle crossing the road and there wasn't water anywhere in sight. Where was it going? Should I have taken it to a nearby pond?

  • Turtles actually spend quite a bit of time away from water. It may have been a female looking for a new place to nest, or it may have just left a nearby pond looking for a mate or a new place to live.
  • It has its own agenda, and you shouldn't interfere.

::I picked up a wild turtle and brought it home. Now I know better. What should I do?

  • Take it back to exactly where you found it and send it on its way.

::Are turtles endangered in Oregon?

  • Both species of native turtle are listed as "critical" on the state's sensitive species list. They have disappeared from many parts of their previous range.

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The Lower Willamette Turtle Conservation Project was formed to share expertise among various organizations and agencies involved in turtle conservation and to promote appreciation and conservation of turtles by all Oregonians.
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