Critically endangered bog turtles hatch at Zoo Atlanta

Bog turtle hatchlings at Zoo Atlanta.
Bog turtle hatchlings at Zoo Atlanta.(Zoo Atlanta)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:07 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:14 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A pair of tiny Georgia native turtles are the newest members of one of the rarest species in the United States.

According to Zoo Atlanta, two critically endangered bog turtles hatched there on March 1 and 2.

Zoo officials say bog turtles are the smallest turtles in North America. With shells roughly the size of a quarter, the hatchlings both entered the world weighing less than half an ounce. Their fully-grown parents are similarly diminutive at just 3.7 to 4.2 ounces.

The species is found only in the eastern United States, including northeast Georgia.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to welcome new bog turtle hatchlings. Not only is every hatch vital to the remaining population of this critically endangered species, but this news also shines an important spotlight on efforts to preserve Georgia wildlife and wild environments,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation.

Zoo Atlanta says these hatches represent a notable breeding success for the zoo and follow another successful hatching from the same parents in the summer of 2022. The new hatchlings are currently housed behind the scenes in the Zoo’s Georgia eXtremes building, where their parents and another adult female also reside. When they are larger, it is hoped that the new arrivals may join their older sibling on public view in Georgia eXtremes, which highlights animals and interpretive messaging devoted to Georgia native reptiles and amphibians.