Got Nature? Blog

Posted on May 15th, 2023 in Alert, How To, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: The Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a species of hinge-shelled turtle that lives on forested land in Indiana. Box turtles are long-lived, slow to mature and have few offspring per year. This, coupled with the high mortality rate of box turtles being hit on roads, has resulted in Eastern box turtles being a species of special concern in Indiana.

Image of Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern box turtles are listed as a species of special concern in Indiana due to population declines involving habitat loss, road mortality, and collection for pets. If you see one this summer, be sure to keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Eastern box turtles may not be collected from the wild; however, if you accidentally catch an Eastern box turtle from Indiana from the wild, please contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at; do not release it into the wild. Its chances of survival are low, and it could transmit diseases to other wild Eastern box turtles.
  • Sick or injured Eastern box turtles should be left in the wild. Don’t fret—box turtles are surprisingly resilient to damage and disease. If left alone, they will likely heal on their own. If a box turtle appears severely injured, it can be given to a licensed rehabilitator or licensed veterinarian.

If you see a wild Eastern box turtle crossing a busy road, you can pick it up and move it to the other side of the road in the direction it was facing. DNR appreciates your efforts to conserve wildlife.

To identify and learn more about the Eastern box turtle, please visit the DNR: Fish and Wildlife: Eastern Box Turtle website

Subscribe to Wild Bulletin.

Turtles of Indiana, The Education Store
Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature, The Education Store
Forestry Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching, Unit 3: Reptiles, Amphibians, and the Scientific Method, The Education Store
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
Ask An Expert, Purdue Extension – FNR Playlist

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Got Nature?