Wood Turtle Predators



Despite it's shell, the Wood Turtle is preyed upon by a wide variety of organisms.  Adult Wood Turtles are often encountered with

one or more missing limbs.  In most cases, limb mutilations and amputations are due to encounters with the Wood Turtle's life-long

enemy, the Raccoon (Procyon lotor).  In agricultural areas, however, limb loss may be the result of agricultural mowers.  


After 15 years of investigation, one study documented a significantly lower probability of recapturing Wood Turtles that had at least

one missing limb than those that were intact.  So, it seems limb loss can compromise the survival of certain turtles, at least over the

long term.


The eggs are arguably the most vulnerable stage of a Wood Turtle's life.  


In some years, skunks and raccoons can destroy up to 100% of clutches at a given nesting site.  One study noted that 15 of 17 nests were destroyed, but that the nests were preyed upon nine weeks after they were laid.


Other egg predators include coyotes and ravens.  The larvae of certain flies scavenge and/or prey upon eggs



Last updated: February 7th, 2010


Young Wood Turtles are preyed upon by a wide variety of animals.  Known predators include raccoons, skunks, oppossums, chipmunks, dogs, cats, several birds, and large-mouthed bass.  


Fly larvae can consume live hatchling Wood Turtles in the nest chamber. These fly larvae enter through the center of the plastron, where the turtle was connected to its yolk sac, the umbilicus...and consume it from the inside out.