The spotted turtle is instantly recognizable by its small size, smooth black shell with conspicuous bright yellow spots spattered about the shell like polka dots.
This is a turtle of swamps, bogs, fens, and vernal pools. It is an aquatic species with some terrestrial tendencies.
Spotted turtles are in decline in Ontario due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and the illegal collection for the pet trade. Some are lost to road death where roads intersect traditional migration routes. Some healthy populations still exist in the province but many populations are small and disconnected due to land and wetland alteration and development.
The spotted turtle is currently listed as Endangered both federally and provincially, and the species and its habitat are both protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.