European Pond Turtle

About This Project

The “garbage collector of the wetlands”

The pond turtle is so nicknamed because it is partly scavenger, eating dead animals, especially fish. It also feeds on prey and plants.

This gregarious species lives in wetlands with fresh, calm and very sunny waters: marshes, ditches, canals … Discreet and very fearful, it seeks spaces where human disturbance is weak and where the vegetation of the banks allows you to hide from predators.
In France, it is only encountered in a few isolated areas of the Center and the West, in Provence (mainly Camargue and Massif des Maures), in Languedoc, in Corsica and in the Rhône-Alpes region. Indeed she was a victim of hunting for her meat and the use of fish traps where she drowned. Now the main threats are the degradation of wetlands, while agricultural machinery destroys nests or even crushes females and young. Not to mention the competition with the Florida turtle, road collisions, hooks and angling. It is however totally protected!

At the zoo, you can observe them with Mediterranian Turtle in a basin adjoining the viviarium … Except from October to April because they hibernate, placed at the bottom of the water or in the mud!

Latin name: Emys orbicularis
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Size: 15 – 18 cm
Weight: 500-700 g
Lifespan: 80 years
Reproduction : oviparous
Incubation: 2 months
Number of eggs: 4 – 20
Habitat: fresh water
Diet: carrion, small animals and plants
Distribution: Europe, from northern Germany and Poland to North Africa and to Iran. In France, it is encountered everywhere except in a northwest quarter.
Conservation status: near threatened