Photos by Meghan Marchetti
Working in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has begun a multi-year study into the status and management of the Spotted Turtle.
With nearly 50% of all turtle species threatened with extinction, they are considered by many conservationists to be the most imperiled major group of vertebrates in the world. Loss of ephemeral, forested wetlands and illegal poaching for the pet trade has lead to the decline of this species in some parts of its range.
This investigation will help land mangers have a better understanding of the species habitat needs and raise awareness of its conservation.