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Idaho's Reptiles

Painted Turtle

Chrysemys picta

Description

The painted turtle is the only species of turtle that is native to Idaho. These reptiles have brightly colored necks and limbs with yellow or red lines, which means they live up to their name. They have webbed toes for swimming and a shallow carapace (shell) that is a solid olive or black color, usually with light yellow stripes. They can grow carapaces up to nine inches long; think about that, carrying around your house on your back! If you see one, look for the brightly striped legs and underbody, as these turtles can easily be confused for other non-native turtles that have been introduced to Idaho by humans.   

Painted Turtle

Habitat

Painted turtles originally dwelled in the northern portion of Idaho, but they have recently been found in western Idaho near waters like the Payette and Boise Rivers, and in eastern Idaho near St. Anthony. They like to live in shallow lakes and ponds, but they will live in slow moving streams and rivers as well. In order to escape being eaten by predators, painted turtles need aquatic vegetation near bodies of water to use as camouflage or cover. They will travel on to land to lay their eggs, but otherwise, painted turtles dwell in water for most of their lives. 

Food

These little turtles will eat live or dead plants and insects. They mostly enjoy munching on aquatic insect larvae. Yum!

 Fun Facts

Painted turtles hibernate underwater in the winter, on muddy floors of lakes and ponds. 


Idaho Wildlife 

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  Injured Wildlife 
  BLM Scientists Helping Wildlife


Herbivores

 Jackrabbit
 Pygmy rabbit
 Desert cottontail
 Beaver
 Eastern gray squirrel
 Red squirrel
 Chipmunk
 Kangaroo rat
 Meadow vole
 Mule deer
 Elk
 Bighorn sheep
 American pronghorn
 Moose
 Deer Mouse


Carnivores

 Bobcat
 American badger
 River otter
 Red fox
 Long-tailed weasel
 Coyote
 Grizzly bear
 Mountain lion


Amphibians

 Salamanders
  Long-toed salamander
  Idaho giant salamander
  Coeur d'Alene salamander

 Frogs and Toads
  American bullfrog
  Columbia spotted frog
  Western toad
  Northern leopard frog
  Pacific tree frog
  Great Basin spadefoot


Reptiles

 Painted turtle 
 Northern alligator lizard
 Mohave black-collared lizard
 Short-horned lizard
 Desert horned lizard
 Sagebrush lizard
 Western fence lizard
 Western skink
 Side-blotched lizard
 Longnosed leopard lizard
 Western whiptail


Bats 

 Western pipistrelle
 Western small-footed myotis
 Little brown bat
 Yuma myotis
 Townsend's big-eared bat
 Hoary bat
 Silver haired bat
 Fringed myotis 
 Pallid bat

 White nose syndrome
 Decontamination procedures 
 The Benefits of Bats


Sensitive Species 
 NOT a complete list - more species will be added soon.

 Greater sage-grouse
 Pygmy rabbit
 Northern Idaho ground squirrel
 Canada lynx
 Grizzly bear
 Selkirk Mountains woodland caribou 
 Kootenai White River sturgeon
 Bull trout 
 Sockeye salmon
 Chinook salmon
 Steelhead trout
 
Candidate Species


COMING SOON

Birds
     Waterfowl
     Raptors
     Songbirds

Snakes

Fish