Western Painted Turtle

Western Painted Turtle on a log
Photo Credit: Keith Kohl, ODFW


  • Species Common Name Western Painted Turtle
  • Species Scientific Name Chrysemys picta bellii
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


    Special needs

    Western painted turtles inhabit marshy ponds, small lakes, slow-moving streams, and quiet off-channel portions of rivers. They prefer waters with muddy bottoms and aquatic vegetation. Western painted turtles use open, sparsely-vegetated and sunny ground for nesting. They require sunny logs/vegetation for basking and safe movement corridors between aquatic and terrestrial habitat.

    Limiting factors

    Loss, fragmentation, and alteration (conversion, dominance by invasive plants) of aquatic and nesting habitat are likely the main limiting factors for most populations. Road mortality, predation by bullfrogs, fish, and raccoons, competition with invasive turtles, and human disturbance may be locally important.

    Conservation actions

    Provide basking structures and nesting habitat. Control invasive plants and animals. Protect important nesting sites from disturbance. Use wire cages to protect nests from raccoons at key sites in the short-term where this is a problem. Implement the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Turtle Best Management Practices. Prevent illegal collection. Prevent release of pet turtles. Reduce risk of mortality from roads.

    Key reference or plan

    Conservation Assessment For The Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) In Oregon

    Guidance for Conserving Oregon’s Native Turtles including Best Management Practices

    Life History Traits