KIESTER, A. R. & WILLEY, L. L. (2015)

Terrapene carolina (Linnaeus 1758) – Eastern Box Turtle, Common Box Turtle.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(8):085.1–25, doi:10.3854/crm.5.085.carolina.v1.2015, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.


The Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina (Family Emydidae), as currently understood, contains six living subspecies of small turtles (carapace lengths to ca. 115–235 mm) able to close their hinged plastrons into a tightly closed box. Although the nominate subspecies is among the most widely distributed and well-known of the world’s turtles, the two Mexican subspecies are poorly known. This primarily terrestrial, though occasionally semi-terrestrial, species ranges throughout the eastern and southern United States and disjunctly in Mexico. It was generally recognized as common in the USA throughout the 20th century, but is now threatened by continuing habitat conversion, road mortality, and collection for the pet trade, and notable population declines have been documented throughout its range. In the United States, this turtle is a paradigm example of the conservation threats that beset and impact a historically common North American species. In Mexico, the greatest need for the subspecies that occur there is to further assess their distribution, habitat requirements, economic status, and conservation threats.


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