Glyptemys muhlenbergii - (Schoepff, 1801)
Bog Turtle
Other English Common Names: bog turtle
Synonym(s): Clemmys muhlenbergii (Schoepff, 1801)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Glyptemys muhlenbergii (Schoepff, 1801) (TSN 668670)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101495
Element Code: ARAAD02040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Emydidae Glyptemys
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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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 muhlenbergii
Taxonomic Comments: Apparently there are discrete northern and southern populations, but it is not known whether there are genetic differences between the two; further research is needed.

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.

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).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Dec2018
Global Status Last Changed: 17Dec2018
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This species has a discontinuous range with fragmented occurrences, is uncommon, and adversely affected by continual habitat destruction/overcollection.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3 (17Dec2018)

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 Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S1), District of Columbia (SX), Georgia (S2), Maryland (S2), Massachusetts (S1), New Jersey (S1), New York (S2), North Carolina (S2), Pennsylvania (S2), South Carolina (S1), Tennessee (S1), Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT, SAT: Listed threatened,listed threatened because of similar appearance (new) (04Nov1997)
Comments on USESA: USFWS (1997) listed the northern population (New York and Massachusetts to Maryland and Delaware) as Threatened and the southern population (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia) as Threatened due to similarity of appearance. Name used for listing is Clemmys muhlenbergii.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R5 - Northeast
IUCN Red List Category: CR - Critically endangered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Since the discontinuity of the range is well established, the range extent was split into three distinct clusters, and then summed; 1) those from Georgia to southern Virginia, 2) those from Maryland to Massachusetts, 3) and those from the Prairie Peninsula/Lake Plain of New York State. Population segments considered extirpated (northwestern Pennsylvania and Lake George, NY) were excluded. Ernst and Lovich (2009) and USFWS (2001) published distribution maps. Range extent was calculated at 97,484.563 sq km.

Area of Occupancy: 2,501-12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: 3,052 4-km2 grid cells were calculated. Although there are likely more cells that will be filled as more subpopulations are discovered, because this species distribution is mostly well known, it's unlikely that cells would increase by more than 10%. Because the AOO calculation fell at the bottom of the category range, we have high confidence in the calculation.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: As of review in 2018, 1,282 element occurrences are known. Although many of these occurrences would have historically been clustered into functioning metapopulations, because of land use changes (fragmentation due to development), many of these functional metapopulations have been separated into distinct colonies by barriers to natural movement (Gibbs et al. 2007, USFWS 2001).

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Lee and Norden (1996) provided justification for a population estimate between 7,912 and 11,890. While much has been learned since this publication, including many newly discovered subpopulations, population estimates would still certainly be less than 100,000 individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: As of review in 2018, 160 element occurrences have good to excellent estimated viability/ecological integrity or higher.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Throughout the bog turtles range, residential and commercial development pressure continues to alter and destroy habitat, and fragment populations. Despite environmental review protection measures, those efforts tend to focus on small scale impacts and not the overall impacts to populations.

Although prescribed grazing can be beneficial to habitat maintenance, USFWS (2001) noted that intensive grazing represented a threat to bog turtles.

Bog turtles are occasionally killed on roads, and road mortality may be significant where bog turtle subpopulations are found along roads (Arndt 1977, USFWS 2001).

Some bog turtle occurrences can be found in powerline and pipeline rights of ways (ROWs). While short-term ROW maintenance can negatively impact turtle subpopulations if conducted without considering the impacts to turtles, in the long-term this ROW management may help maintain the open canopy habitat component that bog turtles need.

Unfortunately, bog turtles are still targeted in the black market pet trade (USFWS 2001). It's suspected that poaching currently occurs at a small proportion of bog turtle sites, but this collection pressure may cause such severe declines that subpopulations are entirely eliminated or driven so low that they become functionally extinct (Ernst and Lovich 2009).

USFWS (2001) noted that fire suppression at a population in Massachusetts has greatly reduced the available bog turtle habitat.

Draining, filling, and inundating bog turtle habitat is noted as one of the primary threats to bog turtles (Ernst and Lovich 2009, USFWS 2001).

Numerous invasive plant species threaten bog turtle habitat (USFWS 2001). Disease has not traditionally be thought of as a huge risk to bog turtles, but a number of states reported numerous states reported finding multiple dead bog turtles as monitored sites in 2010-2011. However, investigations as to the cause were not conclusive.

Natural succession is a perpetual problem at the majority of bog turtle sites (USFWS 2001). Native predators, especially raccoons, take a huge toll on bog turtle nests, juveniles and adults (Ernst and Lovich 2009, USFWS 2001).

A review of the bog turtle through the Climate Change Vulnerability Index by the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program found that the turtle indexed as "highly vulnerable" to climate change (PNHP 2011). Marsh habitats could have lasting altered hydroperiods due to climate change, and may become unsuitable for bog turtles.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: USFWS (2001) cited a 50% reduction in range an numbers during the 20-years prior to publication. Since this analysis, there has been a greater emphasis on surveying for the species, and many more subpopulations have been discovered. Despite this influx of new occurrence data, declines due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and alteration have continued. Many subpopulations consist of few individuals and may be considered "functionally extinct" (USFWS 2001).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: The long-term trends of this historically-enigmatic species are presumed; however, the perpetual human-induced destruction and alteration of wetland habitats (especially those most easily converted to agriculture) as well as the decline of natural habitat maintenance regimes in large wetland complexes (beaver activity, fire, wildlife grazing) have undoubtedly caused marked declines in this species (USFWS 2001).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Low fecundity and high mortality rate of young make populations slow to recover from population losses.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Reverify historical sites and search for new sites; should be many more new sites (e.g., in southeast Pennsylvania). Much habitat in the southern part of the range (especially North Carolina) needs to be inventoried. Population sizes need to be determined for many sites.

Protection Needs: Protect at least 1-2 sites in each state. Promote laws/regulations and law enforcement that will protect wetlands and discourage collecting. Maintain tight data security regarding occurrences.

A draft recovery plan became available in September 2000 (USFWS 2000).

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Since the discontinuity of the range is well established, the range extent was split into three distinct clusters, and then summed; 1) those from Georgia to southern Virginia, 2) those from Maryland to Massachusetts, 3) and those from the Prairie Peninsula/Lake Plain of New York State. Population segments considered extirpated (northwestern Pennsylvania and Lake George, NY) were excluded. Ernst and Lovich (2009) and USFWS (2001) published distribution maps. Range extent was calculated at 97,484.563 sq km.

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: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DCextirpated, DE, GA, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC, TN, VA

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)
CT Fairfield (09001), Litchfield (09005), New Haven (09009)*
DE New Castle (10003)
GA Fannin (13111), Rabun (13241), Towns (13281), Union (13291)
MA Berkshire (25003)
MD Baltimore County (24005), Carroll (24013), Cecil (24015), Harford (24025)
NC Alexander (37003)*, Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Avery (37011), Buncombe (37021), Burke (37023), Caldwell (37027), Catawba (37035), Cherokee (37039)*, Clay (37043), Forsyth (37067), Gaston (37071), Graham (37075), Henderson (37089), Iredell (37097)*, Macon (37113), McDowell (37111), Mitchell (37121), Rutherford (37161), Surry (37171), Transylvania (37175), Wilkes (37193), Yancey (37199)
NJ Atlantic (34001)*, Bergen (34003)*, Burlington (34005), Camden (34007)*, Cape May (34009)*, Essex (34013)*, Gloucester (34015), Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021)*, Middlesex (34023)*, Monmouth (34025), Morris (34027), Ocean (34029), Passaic (34031)*, Salem (34033), Somerset (34035), Sussex (34037), Union (34039), Warren (34041)
NY Albany (36001)*, Columbia (36021), Dutchess (36027), Genesee (36037), Monroe (36055)*, Onondaga (36067)*, Orange (36071), Oswego (36075), Otsego (36077)*, Putnam (36079), Rensselaer (36083)*, Rockland (36087)*, Seneca (36099), Sullivan (36105), Tompkins (36109)*, Ulster (36111), Warren (36113)*, Wayne (36117), Westchester (36119)
PA Adams (42001), Berks (42011), Bucks (42017), Carbon (42025), Chester (42029), Crawford (42039)*, Cumberland (42041), Delaware (42045), Lancaster (42071), Lebanon (42075), Lehigh (42077), Mercer (42085)*, Monroe (42089), Montgomery (42091), Northampton (42095), Philadelphia (42101)*, Schuylkill (42107), York (42133)
SC Greenville (45045), Pickens (45077)
TN Carter (47019), Johnson (47091)
VA Carroll (51035), Floyd (51063), Franklin (51067), Grayson (51077), Patrick (51141)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Housatonic (01100005)+, Saugatuck (01100006)+
02 Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+, Lower Hudson (02030101)+, Bronx (02030102)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lehigh (02040106)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Schuylkill (02040203)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+*, Upper Susquehanna (02050101)+*, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+, Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003)+, Monocacy (02070009)+
03 Upper Dan (03010103)+, Upper Yadkin (03040101)+, South Yadkin (03040102)+, Rocky, North Carolina, (03040105)+*, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, South Fork Catawba (03050102)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+, Saluda (03050109)+, Seneca (03060101)+*, Tugaloo (03060102)+*
04 Lower Genesee (04130003)+, Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)+, Salmon-Sandy (04140102)+, Seneca (04140201)+, Oneida (04140202)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+*
05 Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+*, French (05010004)+*, Shenango (05030102)+*, Connoquenessing (05030105)+*, Upper New (05050001)+
06 South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Watauga (06010103)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Ocoee (06020003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small turtle.
General Description: Carapace is light brown to black (may have yellowish or reddish areas on large scutes), strongly sculptured with growth lines, and has an inconspicuous keel; plastron is mainly dark brown to black; head is brown, with a large yellow or orange (sometimes red) blotch above and behind the tympanum (blotch may be divided); adult carapace length usually is 7.5-9 cm (up to 11.5 cm); hatchling carapace is 2.5-3.2 cm; male vent is posterior to the rear edge of the carapace and the plastron is concave (flat in female) (Ernst and Barbour 1989, Conant and Collins 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the spotted turtle (a few of which lack yellow dots on the carapace) by having a large orange patch on each side of the head rather than many small yellow or orange spots on the head and neck; also, the bog turtle has prominent growth lines on the carapace (most, but not all, spotted turtles have a smooth carapace).
Reproduction Comments: Mating occurs from late April to early June. Lays clutch of 1-6 (usually 3-5) eggs in May, June, or July (occasionally August). Eggs hatch in about 6-9 weeks, late July to early September. In the north, hatchlings may not emerge from the nest until October or they may overwinter in the nest. Sexually mature in 5-8 years. Not all adult females produce clutches annually. No evidence of multiple clutches wihtin a single season.
Ecology Comments: Home range size averaged 1.3 ha in Pennsylvania, where the longest distance moved by any individual was 225 m (see Bury 1979). Home range was 0.04-ha to 0.24 ha in Maryland (Chase et al. 1989). Home range size averaged 0.52 ha (median 0.35 ha, range 0.02-2.26 ha, minimum convex polygon) in Virginia (Carter et al. 1999). Long-distance movements between wetlands were infrequently observed in southwestern Virginia (Carter et al. 2000). In North Carolina over somewhat less than 1 year, distances between relocations of radio-tagged turtles was 0-87 m (mean 24 m) for males, 0-62 m (mean 16 m) for females (Herman and Fahey 1992).

Population density may exceed 110/ha in some areas (see Ernst and Barbour 1972). In Maryland, population density was 7-213/ha of wetland habitat; average was 44 individuals per site at 9 sites (Chase et al. 1989). Searches of suitable habitat in North Carolina and Delaware yielded 1 bog turtle per 1.8 to 4.2 hours of search (see Bury 1979). In Pennsylvania, patches of suitable habitat had 3 to 300 individuals, mostly around 30 (see Mitchell 1991).

In the northern half of the range, other turtles most likely to occur in bog turtle habitat include the spotted turtle, painted turtle, and wood turtle.

Eggs, young, and adults are preyed on by various Carnivora, opossums, and some wading birds. Juveniles are very secretive.

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: May migrate about 200 m between winter hibernation site and upstream summer range in some areas (Ernst and Barbour 1972). Hibernating juveniles were found in a nesting area in New Jersey (Ernst et al. 1989).
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Bog turtles inhabit slow, shallow, muck-bottomed rivulets of sphagnum bogs, calcareous fens, marshy/sedge-tussock meadows, spring seeps, wet cow pastures, and shrub swamps; the habitat usually contains an abundance of sedges or mossy cover. The turtles depend on a mosaic of microhabitats for foraging, nesting, basking, hibernation, and shelter (USFWS 2000). "Unfragmented riparian systems that are sufficiently dynamic to allow the natural creation of open habitat are needed to compensate for ecological succession" (USFWS 2000). Beaver, deer, and cattle may be instrumental in maintaining the essential open-canopy wetlands (USFWS 2000).

Bog turtles commonly bask on tussocks in the morning in spring and early summer. They burrow into soft substrate of waterways, crawls under sedge tussocks, or enter muskrat burrows during periods of inactivity in summer (see Bury 1979).

In Pennsylvania, bog turtles hibernated mainly in water and mud in muskrat burrows, and in mud bottom of marsh rivulets under 5-15 cm of water.

In New Jersey, hibernacula were in subterranean rivulets or seepage areas where water flowed continuously from underground springs; turtles were under 5-55 cm of water and mud (see Ernst et al. [1989] for further details).

In Maryland, larger population sizes were associated with sites with the following characteristics: circular basin with spring-fed pockets of shallow water, bottom substrate of soft mud and rock, dominant vegetation of low grasses and sedges, and interspersed wet and dry pockets; winter retreats were shallow, just below upper surface of frozen mud and/or ice (Chase et al. 1989). Studies in Maryland and Pennsylvania noted use of the lower portion of wetlands for overwintering.

In Virginia, selected habitats included wet meadow, smooth alder edge, and bulrush; dry meadow and streams were avoided (Carter et al. 1999).

Nests are in open and elevated ground in areas of moss, sedges, or moist earth (see Bury 1979). The turtles dig a shallow nest or lay eggs in the top of a sedge tussock.

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds opportunistically on insects, worms, slugs, crayfish, snails, and other small invertebrates; also amphibian larvae and fruits. Diet generally is dominated by insects. Apparently forages on land and in water (Bury 1979).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Most activity occurs from mid-April to late September in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In some areas, including Pennsylvania and Delaware, there is an apparent peak in activity in May (see Bury 1979). Reportedly may estivate or at least reduce activity to a small area during hot summer periods (especially July-August). In North Carolina, radiotelemetry showed that turtles remained active through summer and fall whereas hand captures indicated primarily vernal activity (Herman and Fahey 1992). In Maryland, movement into and out of retreats was noted from November through March (Chase et al. 1989). Active during daylight hours, mostly from mid-morning to late afternoon or early evening. More active on cloudy days than on bright sunny days (Mitchell 1991). In early spring, activity occurs mainly at midday and in the afternoon; most active in the morning in late spring and summer (Mitchell 1991).
Length: 9 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Historically has had a high commercial value, especially in Europe.
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: With a bimodal range that overlaps the Washington D.C. to Boston megalopolis and high elevation wetlands of the southern Appalachians, the bog turtle has been relegated to pockets of habitat often fragmented by development and agriculture. Bog turtles rely on spring-fed wetlands in the middle stages of hydrarch succession, and the natural disturbance regimes (colonization and abandonment by beavers, grazing of large ungulates, wildfire) which historically created and maintained bog turtle habitat within large wetland matrixes, have declined or are gone. In the absence of these disturbance regimes, habitats will continue to degrade unless prescriptively managed.

Conservation and maintenance of bog turtle habitat, and the connections between patches of habitat is critical to bog turtles. As pockets of habitat have become more isolated, maintenance of the habitat becomes ever more important. Most bog turtle sites will require periodic manual habitat management to set back natural succession and remove invasive species. Many tools exist to accomplish these goals, but most require considerable effort. Tree and shrub thinning can be accomplished through manual cutting, girdling, the use of herbicides, or grazing. Invasive species removal may involve herbicide application or manual removal. In some cases, it may be prudent to restore hydrology that was manipulated by draining, channelization, or flooding.

Meso-mammal predators (raccoon, striped skunk, red fox, and opossum) should be managed at bog turtle sites. With the loss of large predators (wolves and eastern cougar) to control these species, the decline of fur trapping, and the ability of these species to thrive at elevated populations around humans, meso-mammal populations are a threat to all bog turtle subpopulations.

Protection of habitat is crucial to bog turtle conservation, and more incentives to private landowners to protect bog turtle habitat are needed. Conservation easements and outright purchase by resource conservation organizations should also be considered a priority.

Management Requirements: See USFWS (2000) for recently developed recovery criteria and management needs.
Monitoring Requirements: See Eckler et al. (1990) for information on use of radio telemetry.

Management Programs: Successful captive breeding has occurred in an outdoor bog exhibit at the Knoxville Zoo, Tennessee (Tryon 1989).
Management Research Needs: Conservation success may be improved if determinants of successful dispersal between populations can be identified (Carter et al. 2000).
Biological Research Needs: Determine long-term viability of small, localized populations. Obtain information on movements (e.g., home range, dispersal, movements among different sites within a wetland complex). Determine how best to control invasive alien plants that may degrade habitat.
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: Heavily traveled road or road with barriers such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; impoundment; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); river of third order or higher; urban development lacking suitable wetlands.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance across continuous or mostly continuous suitable wetlands: 3 km. Separation distance for continuous upland habitat: 1.5 km. Separation distance for intermediate or mosaic upland-wetland habitat: 2 km. Palustrine wetland systems are considered suitable wetlands.

Separation Justification: Bog turtles rarely leave wetland habitats, although recent radio-telemetry evidence indicates that bog turtles sometimes venture into and across upland habitats (375 m, Carter 1997) and cross roads to reach adjacent wetlands (Morrow et al. 2001). Whitlock (unpublished data) also documented individuals regularly moving back and forth across 1 km of atypical wetland habitat to more suitable habitat patches. Successful movement across developed areas is probably negligible, due to susceptibility to collection, predation, and road mortality.
Home ranges are small. In Virginia, home range size averaged 0.52 ha (median 0.35 ha, range 0.02-2.26 ha, minimum convex polygon) (Carter et al. 1999). Long-distance movements between wetlands were infrequently observed (Carter et al. 2000), though Carter (1997) recorded a bog turtle moving up to 2.7 km from previously documented areas.
Home range size averaged 1.3 ha in Pennsylvania, where the longest distance moved by any individual was 225 m (see Bury 1979). Home range was 0.04-ha to 0.24 ha in Maryland (Chase et al. 1989). In the same area, Morrow et al. (2001) recorded home range sizes of 0.003 to 3.12 ha (95% Adaptive Kernel method); expansion of multiflora rose with cessation of animal grazing probably contributed to the increase in home range size. In North Carolina over somewhat less than 1 year, distances between relocations of radio-tagged turtles was 0-87 m (mean 24 m) for males, 0-62 m (mean 16 m) for females (Herman and Fahey 1992).

The different separation distances are based on the likelihood that upland habitat inhibits movement more so than does aquatic or wetland habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Date: 26Jun2001
Author: Whitlock, A., and G. Hammerson
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: 17Dec2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Eichelberger, C. (2018), Wilkinson, A. M., G. Hammerson, and L. Master (2011)
Management Information Edition Date: 28Dec2018
Management Information Edition Author: C. Eichelberger
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Feb2005
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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  • Arndt, R. G. 1977. Notes on the natural history of the bog turtle, Clemmys muhlenbergi (Schoepff), in Delaware. Chesapeake Science 18(1):67-76.

  • Arndt, R.G. 1980. The bog turtle- an endangered species? Pp. 99-107. in: P. Wray (ed). Proceedings of the northeast endangered species conference, Provincetown. 170 pp.

  • BARTON, A.J. AND J.W. PRICE, SR. 1955. OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE BOG TURTLE, SURVEYED AND AUGMENTED. COPEIA (3): 159-165.

  • BRADY, M.K. 1924. MUHLENBERG'S TURTLE NEAR WASHINGTON. COPEIA 1924(135): 92.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Bickham, J. W., T. Lamb, P. Minx, and J. C. Patton. 1996. Molecular systematics of the genus Clemmys and the intergeneric relationships of emydid turtles. Herpetologica 52:89-97.

  • Bury, R. B. 1979. Review of the ecology and conservation of the bog turtle, CLEMMYS MUHLENBERGII. USFWS Spec. Sci. Rep.--Wildl. 219:1-9.

  • Bury, R. B.1979. Review of the Ecology and Conservation of the Bog Turtle, Clemmys muhlenbergii. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. Special Scientific Report-Wildlife, No. 219.

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