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Two Critically Endangered Bog Turtles Hatch at Zoo Atlanta

The two hatchling bog turtles add to the single bog turtle hatched last year.

Zoo Atlanta announced March 9 that a pair of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) have hatched at the zoo’s breeding facility in Atlanta. The turtles,

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Zoo Atlanta announced March 9 that a pair of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) have hatched at the zoo’s breeding facility in Atlanta. The turtles, native to Georgia, hatched February 28 and March 2. The hatchlings have a carapace that is about the size of a quarter and their parents are similar small at just 3.7 inches in carapace length and just 4.2 oz in weight.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to welcome new bog turtle hatchlings. Not only is every hatch vital to the remaining population of this critically endangered species, but this news also shines an important spotlight on efforts to preserve Georgia wildlife and wild environments,” Jennifer Mickelberg, Ph.D, vice president of collections and conservation said in a post on Facebook. “People sometimes think of biodiversity as a feature of faraway places on other continents, when in fact our own state is a hotbed of biodiversity.”

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The breeding pair were also successful in 2022 with the hatching of a single bog turtle. The hatchlings are currently not on display and are in the Zoo’s Georgia eXtremes, where the breeding pair and another adult female reside. The zoo hopes to make the hatchlings available for public view when they grow larger.


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Bog Turtle Breeding


The zoo’s captive breeding program includes a single male and two females. Last year is the first year the turtles successfully nested, and the single egg from that year was artificially incubated. The zoo noted that the three turtles in the program, born in 2014 and 2015 are still young to have reproduced.

Bog Turtle

Newly hatched bog turtles are minuscule measuring 21-29mm (0.8-1.14”) in shell length. Photo by Rosie Walunas/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Bog Turtle Information

The bog turtle is the smallest turtle in North America and is also one of the rarest. The species 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.