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Chelydra serpentina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Snapping Turtle
Family: Chelydridae


© Robb Bennett     (Photo ID #43799)


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Distribution of Chelydra serpentina in British Columbia in British Columbia


The native range of the Snapping Turtle in North America is from southeastern Canada south through the US, west to the Rocky Mountains, south to northeastern Mexico and Florida.(Wikipedia 2012). It was introduced to British Columbia in 1913: "In 1913 six snapping turtles (presumably Chelydra serpentina from eastern Canada) were released in a slough near Woodwards Landing [Richmond] by Mr. D. Woodward, according to Mr. T. L. Thacker of Hope, BC. Ten years later a snapping turtle was collected near Steveston, a few miles below Woodwards Landing, on the North Arm of the Fraser River." (Carl and Guiguet 1958). Snapping Turtles are reported in BC today from random locations on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland (BCCDC 2011). Snapping Turtles are found in a variety of wetland habitats, including ponds, streams, marshes, shallow edges of lakes and sometimes are found in brackish water. They will migrate some distance to new habitats and to lay eggs.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Species References

Carl, G. Cliford and C. J. Guiguet. 1958. Alien Animals in British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum, Department of Education, Handbook No. 14. Victoria, BC.