Eastern Box Turtle – 5/22/24

Observer: David Dearborn

Observation Date: 5/22/24

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: 104 Mountain St.

Common Name: Eastern Box Turtle

Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina 

Comments: Spotted this Eastern Box Turtle checking out our cellar window this morning. The little guy was moving pretty quickly, it seemed, for a turtle, walking towards our back yard, headed who knows where but in the direction of Sucker Brook which borders part of our property. We have a very large patch of May apple, visible from Mountain Street, currently in bloom. I’m told that the small fruit that grows on the underside of the leaf is a favorite food of the box turtle.

Box turtles are a Species of Special Concern in Massachusetts. A Species of Special Concern is any species of plant or animal which has been documented by biological research and inventory to have suffered a decline that could threaten the species if allowed to continue unchecked or that occurs in such small numbers or with such a restricted distribution or specialized habitat requirements that it could easily become threatened within the Commonwealth.

Please do not move or disturb box turtles except to move them out of harm’s way, such as when they are found in a roadway.

More Information: Natural History and Endangered Species

What to do if you find a turtle: https://www.mass.gov/guides/turtles-of-massachusetts#turtles-in-the-road