Spotted Turtle

The Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is a small, secretive, semi-aquatic species that is found in a wide variety of shallow wetland habitats and their adjacent upland areas. It was once considered the most common turtle in New York State and on Long Island. Today it is listed as a “Species of Special Concern” by the NYSDEC. This designation is given to species determined by the Department of Environmental Conservation to be at risk of becoming either endangered or threatened in New York State.

A 2005 report by Mike Bottini documented the impact of mosquito ditch maintenance practices on Spotted Turtles, and resulted in important changes to Suffolk County’s Vector Control procedures. 

Today, illegal turtle collecting for the pet trade is a significant factor in the long term viability of Spotted Turtle populations on Long Island and throughout the species range.

Report on spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata)/ Use of  mosquito-control ditches in Suffolk County, NY

Related Information

LI Natural History Conference

The 2024 LINHC will be held on Friday, April 12 from 9 am to 4 pm and on Saturday, April 12 from 9 am to 4 pm at Brookhaven National Lab located in Upton, NY. Public registrations opens on February 6th

Learn More

Keystone Trees

Long Island’s geological history allowed for a range of conditions and a diversity of habitats. Deciduous trees thrived in the rich soils of the North Shore’s glacial moraines. And the many streams and wetlands of the South Shore favored wetland species.

Learn More

Wildlife Conservation

Seatuck works across Long Island on a variety of wildlife issues, employing a multi-pronged approach to advancing conservation. We advocate for wildlife, advance restoration projects, conduct surveys, educate public officials, host workshops, lead coalitions and pursue a host of other approaches to promote wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.

Learn More