This project is a Citizen Science initiative for Coles County, Illinois being conducted by Eastern Illinois University. We will use photos you submit (see instructions below) to better understand Eastern Box Turtle status and behavior in our area.
Eastern Box Turtles (Terrepene carolina) are forest-dwelling turtles found in the eastern United States. Their diet includes vegetation, berries, and small invertebrates. Their yellow shell pattern can be used to tell each turtle apart, like a fingerprint. Formerly very common, box turtle populations are now shrinking dangerously due to habitat loss, predators, disease, capture by humans, and being run over by cars. For more information check out: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/eastern-box-turtle
If you find an Eastern Box Turtle in Coles County, please help us by following these steps!
You do not need to handle the turtle! Take pictures quickly so to minimize its stress.
Top: To capture the pattern, which is like a fingerprint! AND Front: To capture eye color, which helps us determine sex.
Front: To capture eye color, which helps us determine sex.
Please record the GPS coordinates of your turtle as accurately as possible.