Box Turtle Conservation


The Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory


Box turtles are the only terrestrial turtle found in the state of North Carolina and are common around Davidson College. They are amazing animals that play an important role in the ecosystems of eastern North America. Unfortunately, the habits and life history characteristics of box turtles make them particularly susceptible to habitat destruction and exploitation by humans. For that reason, research is needed to determine how humans are impacting box turtle populations and what needs to be done to insure that they remain common for years to come.

In 1998, Michael Dorcas and the students in the Herpetology Laboratory started a long-term, mark-recapture study of box turtles as part of the herpetological investigations they were conducting around Davidson. This study is now in its sixth year, with the goal of surveying the box turtle population in the Davidson area by measuring and marking as many turtles as possible so that recapture data can be analyzed. In the future, data gathered from this study will help dictate management and conservation practices.

Have you found an injured turtle in the North Mecklenburg Area? Carolina Veterinary Specialists may be able to help. Contact them at (704)949-1100,

This page was created by J.D. Willson

Photo Credits: J. D. Willson and Mike Dorcas

February 5, 2004