Actinemys marmorata - (Baird and Girard, 1852)
Western Pond Turtle
Other English Common Names: Pacific Pond Turtle, western pond turtle
Synonym(s): Clemmys marmorata (Baird and Girard, 1852) ;Emys (=Clemmys) marmorata (Baird and Girard, 1852) ;Emys marmorata Baird and Girard, 1852
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Actinemys marmorata (Baird and Girard, 1852) (TSN 668668)
French Common Names: tortue de l'Ouest
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102191
Element Code: ARAAD02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Emydidae Actinemys
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: King, F. W., and R. L. Burke, editors. 1989. Crocodilian, tuatara, and turtle species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, D.C. 216 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B89KIN01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Clemmys marmorata
Taxonomic Comments: Molecular data and morphological evidence indicate that the genus Clemmys (sensu McDowell 1964) is paraphyletic (see Bickham et al. 1996, Holman and Fritz 2001, Feldman and Parham 2002). Based on morphological data, Holman and Fritz (2001) split Clemmys as follows: Clemmys guttata was retained as the only member of the genus; Clemmys insculpta and C. muhlenbergii were placed in the genus Glyptemys (as first reviser, Holman and Fritz gave Glyptemys Agassiz, 1857, precedence over the simultaneously published genus Calemys Agassiz, 1857); and Clemmys marmorata was transferred to the monotypic genus Actinemys.

Genetic data support the basic features of this arrangement. An analysis of emydid relationships based on molecular data (Feldman and Parham 2002) identified four well-supported clades: Terrapene; Clemmys guttata; C. insculpta and C. muhlenbergii; and Clemmys marmorata, Emys orbicularis, and Emydoidea blandingii. Feldman and Parham retained Clemmys guttata as the only member of that genus; regarded Clemmys marmorata, Emys orbicularis, and Emydoidea blandingii as congeneric (in the genus Emys, which has priority); and placed C. insculpta and C. muhlenbergii in the genus Calemys. However, Feldman and Parham were unaware that Holman and Fritz (2001) had given Glyptemys precedence over Calemys, so the correct generic name for these turtles under the arrangement of Feldman and Parham is Glyptemys. In contrast to Holman and Fritz (2001), Feldman and Parham (2002) argued that placing Clemmys marmorata in the monotypic genus Actinemys would unnecessarily obscure its phylogenetic relationships, and they recommended that marmorata be included in the genus Emys. Nevertheless, Crother et al. (2003) preferred the arrangement of Holman and Fritz (2001) and retained Emys and Emydoidea as distinct genera as well as Actinemys marmorata as the preferred name for the western (or Pacific) pond turtle.

Iverson, Meylan, and Seidel (in Crother 2008) reviewed the foregoing studies as well as additional research and reasoned that monotypic genera do provide phylogenetic information and accepted Actinemys marmorata and Emydoidea blandingii as the scientific names for the western pond turtle and Blanding's turtle, respectively.

See also McDowell (1964), Merkle (1975), Lovich et al. (1991), and Bickham et al. (1996) for information on relationships among turtles of the genus Clemmys (sensu lato).

See Seeliger (1945) for information on variation and descriptions of the two subspecies (marmorata and pallida), which intergrade over a large area in central California. Buskirk (1991) reviewed the characters used by Seeliger to distinguish the subspecies; he concluded that the subspecies were of questionable validity.

Bury (1970) noted that (1) specimens from Baja California apparently differ from both of the described subspecies and (2) further studies are needed to define better the variation of the species throughout its range.

Based on morphological data, Holland (1992) determined that there are three evolutionary groups in C. marmorata: a Columbia River form, a northern form ranging from the Willamette Valley of northern Oregon to central California, and a southern form extending from the central California coast and San Joaquin Valley south to northern Baja California.

Janzen et al. (1997) examined range-wide DNA variation and found little genetic variation overall. Data generally were consistent with the current taxonomy of two morphologically based subspecies, though southern populations, particularly those in Baja California, included some unique genetic variants possibly indicative of status as a distinct species; at the least these were thought to merit special conservation attention.

Spinks and Shaffer (2005) used rapidly evolving mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data to analyze phylogeography and population genetic variation across the range of the species. Nuclear DNA sequences displayed extremely low levels of variation, but phylogenetic analyses based on mtDNA recovered four well-supported and geographically coherent clades: a large Northern clade composed of populations from Washington south to San Luis Obispo County, California, west of the Coast Ranges; a San Joaquin Valley clade from the southern Great Central Valley; a geographically restricted Santa Barbara clade from a limited region in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; and a Southern clade that occurs south of the Tehachapi Mountains and west of the Transverse Range south to Baja California, Mexico. The Northern clade is congruent with the distribution of the subspecies marmorata (Washington-central California), but no clade is congruent with the distribution of the southern subspecies pallida from central California to Baja California. The authors concluded that "recognition of the current subspecies split is not warranted, based on the available genetic evidence." Crother (2008) acknowledged this finding and did not list any subspecies for Actinemys marmorata.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Sep2013
Global Status Last Changed: 21May2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Historical range extended from Washington or British Columbia to northern Baja California; many populations still exist, and many human-made reservoirs and ponds have been colonized. The species is locally numerous, but distribution and abundance in the northern and southern parts of the range and in the Central Valley of California have declined as a result commercial exploitation for the pet trade, habitat loss and degradation, introduced species, and (locally) disease.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (21May2001)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NX (02Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S3), Nevada (S2), Oregon (S2), Washington (S1)
Canada British Columbia (SX)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: XT (12Jan2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Extirpated (04May2012)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This species has not been observed in the Canadian wild in over 50 years.

Status history: Designated Extirpated in May 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This turtle is discontinuously distributed and generally uncommon from western Washington (Puget Sound region, at least formerly) south to northwestern Baja California. Isolated populations occur in the Mojave River in California, the Carson River in Nevada (one population in the vicinity of Carson City), the lower Columbia River (two populations in Washington, one in Oregon), the Puget Sound Trough in northern Washington (rarely observed; no known extant populations), and in areas south of the Transverse Ranges in southern California and adjacent Baja California (Bury and Germano 2008). Western pond turtles still exist at probably numerous localities in the Central Valley of California (Germano and Bury 2001). Occurrences in the following locations may represent introductions and may or may not represent extant populations: Truckee, Carson, and Humboldt rivers in western Nevada; southern British Columbia; Snake River, Jerome County, Idaho (1894); and Canyon Creek area, Grant County, Oregon. Elevational range extends from sea level to around 6,000 feet. See Buskirk (1990) for some relatively new records from California, mainly from the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations) and locations (as defined by IUCN). In Oregon, this species was observed in 83 of 313 sites surveyed in 1991 (Holland 1993). In California, there are probably more than 100 extant occurrences (see map in Jennings and Hayes 1996), but the viability of many may be low.

Southern California: In 1960 this turtle was known from 87 localities from Ventura County, California, to the Mexican border; by 1970, the number of localities was reduced to 57 (Brattstrom 1988, Brattstrom and Messer 1988). In 1987, 53 of 255 surveyed sites in southern California had turtles; 25 of these were in Ventura County. Of the 53 sites, only 10 were thought to contain reproductively viable populations (Brattstrom 1988, Brattstrom and Messer 1988). These surveys determined that the species was increasingly rare south of the Santa Clara River: Los Angeles County (10 sites); San Diego County (8 sites); Orange County (4 sites); western Riverside County (3 sites); and southwestern San Bernardino County (3 sites). Only five of the populations south of the Santa Clara River were thought to be reproductively viable (Brattstrom 1988, Brattstrom and Messer 1988).

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but probably large (certainly greater than 10,000 and presumably greater than 100,000). This species occurs in many areas and often is abundant in hill and mountain habitats (Bury and Germano 2008). In Oregon, this turtle occurs widely in low to very low densities (Holland 1993). In Washington, the total population in the early 1990s was fewer than 100 individuals in the wild (Andelman and Gray 1992). In California, there are probably a couple hundred extant occurrences statewide (Jennings and Hayes 1996), and some populations include 100s of individuals per hectare of river surface (see Reese and Welsh 1998); however, many populations are small and declining (Jennings and Hayes 1996).

In southern California, populations along the Mojave River were regarded as "small" by Brattstrom and Messer (1988). Holland (1991) estimated that no more than 100 individuals occurred along the Mojave River. Research by Lovich (unpublished) through the late 1990s indicated that at least 34 western pond turtles survived at Camp Cady and Afton Canyon (combined).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Probably at least a few dozen occurrences have good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The major threat is habitat destruction and fragmentation. Over 90 percent of the wetland habitats within the historical range in California has been eliminated due to agricultural development, flood control, water diversion projects, groundwater depletion, and urbanization (Rathbun et al. 1992, USFWS 1992, Lovich and Meyer 2002), though robust populations still occur in some areas of the Central Valley (Germano and Bury 2001), and the species occurs in many human-constructed reservoirs and ponds. In northern California, damming of the mainstem Trinity River may have negatively impacted juveniles (Reese and Welsh 1998). Other localized threats include habitat degradation caused by contaminant spills, grazing, and off-road vehicle use (USFWS 1993), as well as turtle mortality on roads (Holland 1994). Habitat fragmentation perhaps magnifies the effects of introduced species through predation, competition, and epidemic disease (Bury and Germano 2008).

In Washington, the decline was exacerbated in 1990 by an upper respiratory disease epidemic that left a total population of fewer than 100 individuals in the wild; the disease was responsible for the death of 35-40 percent of the individuals in one of only two known populations in the state.(Andelman and Gray 1992). A large die-off of 42 western pond turtles in northern California in 1993 also may have been due to disease (Holland 1994).

Invasion of exotic pest species is another threat. Saltcedar or tamarisk (Tamarix) is an invasive pest plant species that is firmly established in southern California. Changes in channel morphology and hydrology associated with saltcedar invasion along the Mojave River have degraded the remaining limited turtle habitat (Lovich and de Gouvenain 1998, Lovich and Meyer 2002).

Introduction of non-native turtles [red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta), painted turtles (Chrysemys picta)] into California may threaten western pond turtles Dudley and Collins (1995), but no data are available to substantiate this claim. Disease might spread from introduced turtles to western pond turtle populations (Holland 1994).

Bullfrogs are widely established in the range of the western pond turtle and may consume hatchling and young turtles (Holland 1994). Bullfrog predation may eliminate recruitment in some western pond turtle populations in southern California (Overtree and Collings 1997).

Humans widely utilized western pond turtles for food at least until the 1930s, and exploitation continues on a smaller scale in some areas. Turtles are also collected for sale in the pet trade. Bury (1989) reported that one pet wholesaler obtained about 500 western pond turtles from a southern California lake and shipped them to Europe.

Lack of genetic variability may be a significant threat to the continued survival of populations in Oregon and Washington and possibly elsewhere.

Size structure of populations (biased toward larger individuals) sometimes has been used to conclude that little or no recruitment has occurred, but in fact many populations include a substantial proportion of young individuals that have grown rapidly to large size (Bury et al. 2010).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Abundance apparently is declining in the northernmost part and southern one-third of the range but not in the core of the range from central California to southern Oregon (Bury and Germano 2008).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species appears to have experienced at least a moderate decline in abundance and area of occupancy and a small reduction in the extent of occurrence (Bury and Germano 2008). On the other hand, this species has colonized and is locally common in many human-made habitats that were created over the past century (Bury and Germano 2008).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) This turtle is discontinuously distributed and generally uncommon from western Washington (Puget Sound region, at least formerly) south to northwestern Baja California. Isolated populations occur in the Mojave River in California, the Carson River in Nevada (one population in the vicinity of Carson City), the lower Columbia River (two populations in Washington, one in Oregon), the Puget Sound Trough in northern Washington (rarely observed; no known extant populations), and in areas south of the Transverse Ranges in southern California and adjacent Baja California (Bury and Germano 2008). Western pond turtles still exist at probably numerous localities in the Central Valley of California (Germano and Bury 2001). Occurrences in the following locations may represent introductions and may or may not represent extant populations: Truckee, Carson, and Humboldt rivers in western Nevada; southern British Columbia; Snake River, Jerome County, Idaho (1894); and Canyon Creek area, Grant County, Oregon. Elevational range extends from sea level to around 6,000 feet. See Buskirk (1990) for some relatively new records from California, mainly from the Sierra Nevada foothills.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, NV, OR, WA
Canada BCextirpated

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe 2008


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Alameda (06001), Amador (06005), Butte (06007), Calaveras (06009), Colusa (06011), Contra Costa (06013), Del Norte (06015), El Dorado (06017), Fresno (06019), Glenn (06021), Humboldt (06023), Kern (06029), Kings (06031), Lake (06033), Lassen (06035), Los Angeles (06037), Madera (06039), Marin (06041), Mariposa (06043), Mendocino (06045), Merced (06047), Modoc (06049), Monterey (06053), Napa (06055), Nevada (06057), Orange (06059), Placer (06061), Riverside (06065), Sacramento (06067), San Benito (06069), San Bernardino (06071), San Diego (06073), San Francisco (06075), San Joaquin (06077), San Luis Obispo (06079), San Mateo (06081), Santa Barbara (06083), Santa Clara (06085), Santa Cruz (06087), Shasta (06089), Siskiyou (06093), Solano (06095), Sonoma (06097), Stanislaus (06099), Sutter (06101), Tehama (06103), Trinity (06105), Tulare (06107), Tuolumne (06109), Ventura (06111), Yolo (06113), Yuba (06115)
NV Carson City (32510), Douglas (32005), Lyon (32019), Storey (32029), Washoe (32031)*
OR Benton (41003), Clackamas (41005), Columbia (41009), Coos (41011), Curry (41015), Douglas (41019), Hood River (41027), Jackson (41029), Josephine (41033), Klamath (41035), Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Marion (41047), Multnomah (41051), Polk (41053), Tillamook (41057), Wasco (41065), Washington (41067), Yamhill (41071)
WA Clark (53011), Cowlitz (53015), King (53033), Kitsap (53035), Klickitat (53039), Lewis (53041), Mason (53045), Pierce (53053), Skamania (53059), Snohomish (53061), Thurston (53067)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Truckee (16050102)+, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)+*, Upper Carson (16050201)+, Middle Carson (16050202)+
17 Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Klickitat (17070106)+, Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001)+, Lewis (17080002)+, Lower Cowlitz (17080005)+, Middle Fork Willamette (17090001)+, Coast Fork Willamette (17090002)+, Upper Willamette (17090003)+, Mckenzie (17090004)+, North Santiam (17090005)+, South Santiam (17090006)+, Middle Willamette (17090007)+, Yamhill (17090008)+, Molalla-Pudding (17090009)+, Tualatin (17090010)+, Clackamas (17090011)+, Lower Willamette (17090012)+, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, Wilson-Trusk-Nestuccu (17100203)+, Siuslaw (17100206)+, Siltcoos (17100207)+, North Umpqua (17100301)+, South Umpqua (17100302)+, Umpqua (17100303)+, Coos (17100304)+, Coquille (17100305)+, Sixes (17100306)+, Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+, Applegate (17100309)+, Lower Rogue (17100310)+, Illinois (17100311)+, Chetco (17100312)+, Skykomish (17110009)+, Lake Washington (17110012)+, Duwamish (17110013)+, Puyallup (17110014)+, Nisqually (17110015)+, Deschutes (17110016)+*, Hood Canal (17110018)+, Puget Sound (17110019)+
18 Smith (18010101)+, Mad-Redwood (18010102)+, Upper Eel (18010103)+, Middle Fork Eel (18010104)+, Lower Eel (18010105)+, South Fork Eel (18010106)+, Mattole (18010107)+, Big-Navarro-Garcia (18010108)+, Gualala-Salmon (18010109)+, Russian (18010110)+, Williamson (18010201)+, Sprague (18010202)+, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Lost (18010204)+, Butte (18010205)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Shasta (18010207)+, Lower Klamath (18010209)+, Trinity (18010211)+, South Fork Trinity (18010212)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+, Lower Pit (18020003)+, Mccloud (18020004)+, Sacramento headwaters (18020005)+, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)+, Lower American (18020111)+, Upper Stony (18020115)+, Upper Cache (18020116)+, North Fork Feather (18020121)+, Upper Yuba (18020125)+, Upper Bear (18020126)+, North Fork American (18020128)+, South Fork American (18020129)+, Cow Creek (18020151)+, Cottonwood Creek (18020152)+, Battle Creek (18020153)+, Clear Creek-Sacramento River (18020154)+, Paynes Creek-Sacramento River (18020155)+, Thomes Creek-Sacramento River (18020156)+, Big Chico Creek-Sacramento River (18020157)+, Butte Creek (18020158)+, Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather (18020159)+, Upper Coon-Upper Auburn (18020161)+, Upper Putah (18020162)+, Lower Sacramento (18020163)+, Upper Kern (18030001)+, South Fork Kern (18030002)+, Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi- (18030003)+, Upper Poso (18030004)+, Upper Tule (18030006)+, Upper Kaweah (18030007)+, Upper Dry (18030009)+, Upper King (18030010)+, Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes (18030012)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040001)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040002)+, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)+, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)+, Upper Chowchilla-Upper Fresno (18040007)+, Upper Merced (18040008)+, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)+, Upper Stanislaus (18040010)+, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)+, Upper Cosumnes (18040013)+, Panoche-San Luis Reservoir (18040014)+, Rock Creek-French Camp Slough (18040051)+, Suisun Bay (18050001)+, San Pablo Bay (18050002)+, Coyote (18050003)+, San Francisco Bay (18050004)+, Tomales-Drake Bays (18050005)+, San Francisco Coastal South (18050006)+, San Lorenzo-Soquel (18060001)+, Pajaro (18060002)+, Estrella (18060004)+, Salinas (18060005)+, Central Coastal (18060006)+, Cuyama (18060007)+, Santa Maria (18060008)+, San Antonio (18060009)+, Santa Ynez (18060010)+, Alisal-Elkhorn Sloughs (18060011)+, Carmel (18060012)+, Santa Barbara Coastal (18060013)+, Ventura (18070101)+, Santa Clara (18070102)+, Calleguas (18070103)+, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+, Los Angeles (18070105)+, San Gabriel (18070106)+, San Jacinto (18070202)+*, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Newport Bay (18070204)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, Santa Margarita (18070302)+, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+, Cottonwood-Tijuana (18070305)+, Antelope-Fremont Valleys (18090206)+, Mojave (18090208)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A turtle.
General Description: Carapace is low and olive, dark brown, or blackish, usually with a pattern of dark radiating spots or lines on each scute; plastron is yellowish, often with dark blotching; top of head has black spots or network; adult males differ from adult females in having the vent posterior to the rear edge of the carapace (vs. at or anterior to the carapace edge), a paler throat, and a shell that usually is flatter and less heavily marked; young are brown or olive above, with yellow on the edge of the marginals and on the head, limbs, and tail; tail of young is nearly as long as the shell; adult carapace length usually 9-19 cm (Stebbins 1985).
Diagnostic Characteristics: This species differs from the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and slider (Trachemys scripta) (the turtle species most likely to be introduced into the range of the western pond turtle) in lacking yellow lines on the head and limbs.
Reproduction Comments: Mating occurs in April-May in central coastal California (see Rathbun et al. 1992). Reproductive females lay one or two clutches of 3-11 eggs, April-August (varies with location); June-August in central coastal California. Incidence of double clutching appears to be very low in the northern part of the range. Egg laying probably peaks in June-July throughout most of the range. In San Bernardino County, California, females that double clutched deposited eggs in May and June (Goodman 1997). Eggs hatch in about 10-12 weeks. Young probably overwinter in nests and emerge in March-April (central coastal California; see Rathbun et al. 1992). Age of first reproduction in females reportedly is about 7-9 years in the south and 10-14 years in the north (Bury 1979, D. Holland), but individuals in some populations exhibit much faster growth (Bury et al. 2010, Germano 2010) and earlier maturation. For example, females in a population in central coastal California reached reproductive maturity as early as 4 years of age (Germano and Rathbun 2008), and females at various sites in southern Oregon took 5-9 years to reach maturity (Germano and Bury 2009). Some live at least 4 decades (R. B. Bury and D. Holland).
Ecology Comments: In a northern California stream, density was estimated at 214 turtles/hectare, based on captures of 578 individuals (35% juveniles) in a 3.5-kilometer stretch of stream (Bury 1972, cited by Ernst et al. 1994). Turtles generally were congregated in separated pools along the stream. Reese and Welsh (1998) stated that Bury (1972) recorded densities as high as 445/hectare. Bury (1979) reported that density of this population was 170 turtles per acre (420/hectare). In California, some populations include 500-1000 individuals per hectare (Holland and Bury manuscript, cited by Reese and Welsh 1998), others only 13-19/hectare (e.g., 1,210 turtles over 63 stream kilometers) (Reese and Welsh 1998). In western Oregon, Nussbaum et al. (1983) stated that one oxbow lake of 1.5-2.0 hectares contained an estimated 75 individuals. Another oxbow lake of about the same size contained an estimated 180 individuals.

These turtles are subject to predation by various Carnivora and introduced bullfrogs and fishes.

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Reproductive females may migrate up to a kilometer or more between the usual home range and the nesting site; most of the migration may occur along a stream course (Rathbun et al. 1992). In the northern and central parts of the range, some move up to 480 meters between summer habitat and upland wintering habitat (D. Holland). In San Luis Obispo County, California, turtles moved horizontally 8-280 meters (mean 50 meters) from the edge of creek beds to terrestrial flood-season refuges; refuges were up to 38 meters in elevation above the creek bed; some turtles moved among multiple terrestrial refuges; in some creeks some turtles did not leave aquatic habitat (Rathbun et al. 2002). In the Trinity River, northern California, turtles refuged an average of 203 meters from water (Reese and Welsh 1997).

In a northern California stream, Bury (1972) reported a home range length of 275-2425 meters (average 976 meters for males, 0-750 meters (average 248 meters) for females, and 0-1150 meters (average 363 meters) for juveniles. Some individuals move 2-2.5 kilometers between the lower courses of coastal streams (D. Holland). At two sites in southern California, linear aquatic home ranges of adult females were 658-4,263 meters (mean 1,273 m)eters and 32-966 meters (mean 335 meters) (Goodman and Stewart 2000).

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes permanent and intermittent waters of rivers, creeks, small lakes and ponds (including human-made stock ponds and sewage-treatment ponds; Germano 2010), marshes, unlined irrigation canals, and reservoirs. Substantial populations can exist in water bodies in urban areas (Spinks et al. 2003). Sometimes this turtle is found in brackish water. It often basks on logs, vegetation mats, or rocks. In a northern California stream, deep large pools with logs, branches, or boulders were favored sites (Bury 1972). When disturbed, baskers seek cover underwater. In the northern and central part of the range, most overwinter in upland habitats (D. Holland; Reese and Welsh 1997). In San Luis Obispo County, California, radio-tracked turtles spent 34-191 (mean 111) days in terrestrial refuges, generally under leaf litter in woodland and coastal sage scrub habitats, mainly from October to February (n = 43 turtle-years) (Rathbun et al. 2002). However, some did not leave aquatic habitat, and this flexibility occurs throughout the range of the species (see Rathbun et al. 2002). Individuals commonly bask on land, near or way from water (Rathbun et al. 2002).

Nesting sites are on sandy banks and bars or in fields or sunny spots up to a few hundred meters from water (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Storer 1930, Lovich and Meyer 2002). Females may remain overnight at a nest site before returning to water (Rathbun et al. 1992). In San Luis Obispo County, California, females nested in open areas with little vegetative cover that were 6-80 meters (mean 28.2 meters) (possibly up to 170 meters) from water (Rathbun et al. 2002).

Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: This turtle is a scavenger and opportunistic predator with a preference for live prey; adults are partially herbivorous; food items are mostly aquatic (Bury 1986). Diet often includes adult and larval insects, worms, crustaceans, carrion, and algae. Apparently this turtle does not forage on land (Rathbun et al. 2002).
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Pond turtles are most active when water temperatures are above 15 C (Bury and Holland). Activity occurs from February to mid-November in the northern part of the range; year-round in the south (Stebbins 1985). Most activity occurs from April to October in northern California (Bury 1972, G. Hammerson). Activity occurs diurnally and on warm nights. In a northern California stream, turtles began foraging at around sunrise (0600); most left the water to bask when the sun first fell on basking sites; individuals basked periodically between 0800 and dusk, with a peak from 0900 to 1000; at other times, turtles foraged or were inactive (Bury 1972).
Length: 18 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Protection and appropriate management of the habitat is the primary conservation need (Bury and Germano 2008). Effective protection of habitat includes not only the aquatic habitat but also adjacent terrestrial habitat used for nesting, hibernation, estivation, and dispersal (Holland 1994, Spinks et al. 2003, Bury and Germano 2008). This may require protection of riparian corridors 500 meters or more from the wetland boundary (Holland 1994). Road construction, grazing and off-road vehicle use should be reduced or eliminated from riparian corridors utilized by this species for feeding, nesting, and overwintering/estivation. This species would benefit from habitat restoration, including elimination of saltcedar (Tamarix) and revegetation of habitat with native plants. In some areas, bullfrog control may be necessary to prevent or eliminate excessive predation on hatchlings and juveniles. In arid regions of southern California, construction of small ponds may provide valuable refugia during times of drought or in areas where the stream channel has been severely degraded by saltcedar. [Source: J. Lovich]

Translocation of turtles away from construction projects is a questionable mitigation strategy (Bury and Germano 2008).

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: For adequate protection, preserves should include aquatic habitat and adjacent upland habitat for nesting, hibernation, and estivation..
Biological Research Needs: Better information is needed on demography and on management and monitoring methods.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Mapping Guidance: Occurrences should include known nesting areas and documented upland travel corridors, if any.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); urbanized area lacking aquatic or wetland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance across continuous upland habitat: 1 km. Separation distance for locations along riverine corridors or more or less continuous aquatic/wetland habitat: 10 km. Separation distance for intermediate situations: 5 km.
Separation Justification: Clemmys marmorata makes extensive movements. Adult females may migrate up to a kilometer or more between the usual home range and a nesting site; most of the migration may occur along a stream course (Rathbun et al. 1992). In the northern and central parts of the range, some move up to 480 m between summer habitat and upland wintering habitat (D. Holland). In a northern California stream, Bury (1972) reported a home range length of 275-2425 m (average 976 m) for males, 0-750 m (average 248 m) for females, and 0-1150 m (average 363 m) for juveniles. Some individuals move 2-2.5 km between the lower courses of coastal streams (D. Holland). At two sites in southern California, linear aquatic home ranges of adult females were 658-4263 m (mean 1273 m) and 32-966 m (mean 335 m) (Goodman and Stewart 2000). In summary, home range length along streams generally is about 1 km or less but sometimes is much larger. The separation distance for upland habitat represents the nominal minimum value whereas the separation distance of 10 km for aquatic/wetland habitat is roughly twice the largest recorded home range length and approximately ten times the average documented home range length (based on whichever sex has the largest home range size).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Date: 23Apr2001
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 06Sep2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Dec2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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