Turtles of the Okanagan

C. p. bellii

There are two species of turtle with populations in the Okanagan Valley.

Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii)

Status in the Okanagan:

  • Indigenous
  • At Risk
  • Special Concern

How to Identify:

  • Red plastron (underside)
  • Yellow head stripes and neck stripes
  • Smooth leathery carapace (top of the shell)

Red-Eared Slider Turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Status in the Okanagan:

  • Exotic
  • Invasive
  • Indigenous to Southeast United States, Mexico, Central America and Brazil

How to Identify:

  • Yellow plastron (underside)
  • Red postorbital stripes (behind each eye)
  • They are escaped or released pets
  • They compete with indigenous wildlife
  • They spread diseases to other species