The Northern bog turtle was protected in 1997 but the Southern bog turtle was not.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced October 17 that is is considering protecting the southern population of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) under the Endangered Species Act. The service was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity in January to list the reptile.
The USFWS will decide in 12 months whether the southern turtle will be protected. The southern population can be found in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, according to the center. It is also found in six other states that comprise the northern population. The southern population has declined by 50 percent over the last 20 years. It is estimated that there are just 2,000 bog turtles left in the wild in the four southern states in which they reside.
If the USFWS decides that full protection of the species is warranted, the bog turtles and the remaining habitat would be protected and the federal government would have to implement a recovery plan to restore the population of the species.
Bog Turtle Information
The bog turtle is the smallest turtle in North America and is also one of the rarest. It has been documented in just 10 states in the United States and is listed as a critically endangered species by the IUCN. Adult bog turtles weigh around 4 oz or less and measure around 4 inches in carapace length when fully grown.