Graptemys geographica - (Le Sueur, 1817)
Northern Map Turtle
Other English Common Names: Common Map Turtle, northern map turtle
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Graptemys geographica (Lesueur, 1817) (TSN 173794)
French Common Names: tortue géographique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101200
Element Code: ARAAD05040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Emydidae Graptemys
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 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: Graptemys geographica
Taxonomic Comments: Lamb et al. (1994) conducted a mtDNA-based phylogenetic analysis of turtles in the genus Graptemys and discovered three monophyletic lineages: G. pulchra group (including G. pulchra, G. gibbonsi, G. ernsti, and G. barbouri); G. pseudogeographica group (including G. pseudogeographica, G. nigrinoda, G. flavimaculata, G. oculifera, G. versa, G. caglei, and G. ouachitensis); and G. geographica. Overall genetic divergence was relatively low, and G. pseudogeographica, G. nigrinoda, G. flavimaculata, G. oculifera, and G. versa all shared the same mtDNA genotype. There was no evidence of infraspecific variation in any species. Walker and Avise (1998) reviewed these data and suggested that the Graptemys complex has been taxonomically oversplit at the species level.

McDowell (1964) concluded that the genus Graptemys should be included in the genus Malaclemys, but this arrangement generally has been rejected (e.g., see Dobie 1981 for information on osteological differences between the two genera).

Crother et al. (2008) has changed the name from Common Map Turtle because of the possibility that the word "common" might be misinterpreted to imply abundance rather than to the fact that it has a broad geographic distribution.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 21Oct1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (02Feb2016)

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 Alabama (S3), Arkansas (S4), Georgia (S1), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S2), Kentucky (S4), Maryland (S1), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (S5), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S5), New Jersey (SNA), New York (S3), North Carolina (S1), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S1), Pennsylvania (S4), Tennessee (S5), Vermont (S3), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S1), Wisconsin (S4S5)
Canada Ontario (S3), Quebec (S2)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (12Jan2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (25Nov2012)
Comments on COSEWIC: There have been no quantitative, long-term studies of this species in Canada and, therefore, there is limited evidence of recent declines, range contraction or local extirpation of the species. However, the species' long-lived life history with delayed age of maturity and the potential threats to its habitat suggest that it is susceptible to population decline. Significant threats include direct mortality from collisions with motor boats and from commercial fisheries bycatch. Loss and degradation of shoreline habitat is another threat because this wary turtle is readily disturbed by human activity and boating, and shoreline developments interfere with the species' basking and nesting behaviour. Unnaturally high predation of nests by mammalian predators, especially raccoons, is another threat. If not ameliorated, these threats combined with the species' life history will cause the species to become Threatened in Canada.
Designated Special Concern in May 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2012.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix III

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: Southwestern Quebec (north to a few hundred km up the Ottawa River; Daigle et al. 1994), southern Ontario, and northwestern Vermont (St. Lawrence drainage) to central Minnesota, south in Mississippi River drainage to Arkansas, northern Alabama (to Tombigbee drainage above Fall Line), and eastern Tennessee, west to eastern Kansas; Ohio River drainage from West Virginia to Illinois. Isolated populations in Delaware and Susquehanna river drainages of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey; and in Hudson River, New York (McCoy and Vogt 1990).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Water pollution that negatively impacts molluscan prey, waterfront development that destroys or degrades nesting habitat, and automobile traffic that kills females traveling overland to nest have reduced populations in some parts of the range (Ernst et al. 1994).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

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)) Southwestern Quebec (north to a few hundred km up the Ottawa River; Daigle et al. 1994), southern Ontario, and northwestern Vermont (St. Lawrence drainage) to central Minnesota, south in Mississippi River drainage to Arkansas, northern Alabama (to Tombigbee drainage above Fall Line), and eastern Tennessee, west to eastern Kansas; Ohio River drainage from West Virginia to Illinois. Isolated populations in Delaware and Susquehanna river drainages of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey; and in Hudson River, New York (McCoy and Vogt 1990).

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 AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJexotic, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

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)
GA Bartow (13015), Catoosa (13047), Dade (13083), Floyd (13115), Gordon (13129), Murray (13213)*, Walker (13295), Whitfield (13313)*
KS Allen (20001), Anderson (20003), Chautauqua (20019), Franklin (20059), Osage (20139)
MD Anne Arundel (24003)*, Baltimore County (24005)*, Caroline (24011), Cecil (24015), Harford (24025)
NC Cherokee (37039)
NJ Burlington (34005), Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021)*, Warren (34041)
VA Scott (51169)
VT Chittenden (50007), Franklin (50011), Grand Isle (50013)
WV Cabell (54011)*, Lewis (54041)*, Mason (54053)*, Monongalia (54061)*, Putnam (54079)*, Wirt (54105)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, Upper Chesapeake Bay (02060001)+*, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+*, Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003)+*, Choptank (02060005)+
03 Conasauga (03150101)+*, Oostanaula (03150103)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+
04 Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 West Fork (05020002)+*, Cheat (05020004)+*, Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)+*, Little Kanawha (05030203)+, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+*
06 Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+
10 Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)+, Marmaton (10290104)+
11 Caney (11070106)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Diagnostic Characteristics: See McCoy and Vogt (1994) for a key to species in the genus GRAPTEMYS.
Reproduction Comments: Lays 1 or more clutches of up to 20 eggs, late April or May to early or mid-July. Mean clutch size in Missouri was about 10, with some females producing at least 2 (possibly 3) clutches/year (White and Moll 1991). Hatchlings emerge from mid-August to September or overwinter in nest and emerge in spring.
Ecology Comments: Daily and annual movements varied greatly among individuals in a river in central Pennsylvania (up to several thousand meters in a few days, or virtually no movement over several years; Pluto and Bellis 1988).

In Vermont, range length for 6 adult females (with sonic tracking tags) was 1.5-8.0 km along the Lamoille River; total movements outside the hibernaculum ranged from 3.1-15.4 km; some individuals moved downstream to Lake Champlain (2.7 km) and along the lakeshore as much as 2.2 km before returning to the hibernaculum (Graham et al. 2000).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Slow rivers and lakes with mud bottoms, basking logs, and abundant aquatic vegetation. Often in mill ponds, oxbows, and river overflow ponds. In Kansas, occurred exclusively in small shady streams over rock and gravel substrate (Fuselier and Edds 1994). May occupy burrows in banks when inactive (Minton 1972). Wintering sites include river bottoms (e.g., in hollows, among rocks or other objects) (e.g., see Graham and Graham, 1992, Can. Field-Nat. 106:517-519; Graham et al. 2000); in Vermont, 7 of 15 monitored adult females hibernated in the same site in two consecutive years (Graham et al. 2000). Basks on muskrat houses, logs, etc. Eggs are laid in nest dug in soft soil or sand, generally away from beaches (Ernst and Barbour 1972).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: In Wisconsin, ault females eat primarily mollusks; also crayfish and insect larvae; males probably more insectivorous (Vogt 1981). In Missouri, the small gastropod ELIMIA POTOSIENSIS was by far the most important food item for adults (White and Moll 1992). In some areas, aquatic insect dominate the diet.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Most active from April to September. Sluggish activity may occur under ice in winter. Variously reported as sleeping in water at night or foraging at night (cf. Vogt 1981 and Ernst and Barbour 1972).
Length: 27 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Map Turtles (Graptemys)

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.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); area lacking aquatic or wetland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Justification: Map turtles live in riverine-riparian systems and associated floodplain lakes, ponds, and sloughs. Often they nest on sandy banks or sand bars but sometimes up to about 100 m from water. Long-distance overland movements appear to be rare, but available information indicates that map turtles may move considerable distances along riverine corridors. Hence, separation distance for suitable habitat refers to riverine corridors whereas separation distance for unsuitable habitat refers to upland habitat.

For Graptemys flavimaculata in Mississippi, mean male home range area was 1.12 ha, mean home range length was 1.9 km (range 0.2-5.9 km); these values for females were 5.75 ha and 1.6 km (range 0.2-2.8 km) (difference is not significant) (Jones 1996).

For Graptemys geographica, daily and annual movements varied greatly among individuals in a river in central Pennsylvania (up to several thousand meters in a few days, or virtually no movement over several years; Pluto and Bellis 1988). Range length was 0.2-6.1 km (mean 2.1 km) for 46 males and 0-5.3 km (mean 1.2 km) for 14 females. Juveniles moved 4.7-5.3 km upstream or downstream over 1-2 seasons.

In Vermont, range length for 6 adult females (with sonic tracking tags) was 1.5-8.0 km along the Lamoille River; some individuals moved downstream to Lake Champlain (2.7 km) and along the lakeshore as much as 2.2 km before returning to the hibernaculum (Graham et al. 2000).
Graptemys pseudogeographica sometimes may move more than 1 mile (1.6 km) upstream in less than a month (Vogt 1981).

These data suggest that a large separation distance of at least 20 stream km is appropriate for distinguishing different occurrences along a stretch of suitable habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Date: 30Jan2002
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: 02May2005
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Feb2001
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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