The Painted Turtle is a native freshwater turtle species found across British Columbia, including Coldstream.
Identifiable by its black-to-greenish upper shell and distinctive yellow stripes on its head, neck, tail, and legs, along with red markings around the edges of its plastron, the Painted Turtle is a species of conservation concern in the region.
Males typically measure between 9 to 17 centimeters in length and females reach up to 22 centimeters.
Habitat loss poses a significant threat to the Painted Turtles' survival, as they require wetlands, ponds, or similar bodies of water for hiding and foraging.
Unfortunately, the habitat of the Painted Turtle in British Columbia faces threats from human activities such as habitat alteration and destruction. Wetlands and ponds vital to the species are often drained, filled, or modified to meet human needs, jeopardizing the survival of this unique turtle species.
In Coldstream and other parts of British Columbia, efforts to protect and preserve the habitats crucial for Painted Turtles are crucial for their continued survival.
Painted Turtles are locally abundant in Southern Interior valleys, including areas like the Okanagan Valley. Their preferred habitats include muddy-bottomed ponds, marshes, lake margins, and sluggish streams rich in aquatic plants.
Females lay clutches of 6-18 eggs from early June to early July. These eggs are usually buried in warm, south-facing slopes with dry, light soil. After an incubation period of 70-80 days, hatchlings emerge in late August or early September.
Painted Turtles are omnivorous, feeding on aquatic insects, larvae, snails, earthworms, frogs, tadpoles, fish, and aquatic plants.
They can live up to 20-30 years, growing to the size of dinner plates, making them a remarkable species in North America.
Tags: Coldstream's Painted Turtles