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.