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Turtle Census 2013

In the summer of 2013 the Virginia Living Museum continued our census of the basking turtles in the lake. We chose three dates during the summer to conduct this project.

Unfortunately, we did not have student participation this year for our project. The staff set and retrieved traps, removed turtles, identified and marked them. As in years past, each basking turtle that was caught was measured, identified and marked. To mark them we filed a small notch into the shell which corresponded to a number code. Once we collected all the information and determined whether the turtle was a male or female, we released it back into the lake.


At the end of the summer we collected 10 red-eared sliders (which are non-native to our area), 4 northern red-bellied cooters, 2 painted turtles (one of which was a recapture) and 1 intergrade turtle.

We have put together pie charts which detail the percentage of:

Males vs. Females Caught to Date


  • Non-native Species (52%)

  • Native Species (48%)

Native Species vs Non-native Species Caught to Date


  • Female (68%)

  • Male (32%)

Different Species Collected


  • Red-eared Slider (32%)

  • Northern Red-bellied Cooter (12%)

  • Eastern Painted Turtle (7%)

  • Unidentified Slider (5%)

  • Yellow-bellied Slider (3%)

  • Common Musk Turtle (2%)

You can see from the information that we have collected:

  • More females than males
  • More non-natives than natives and
  • The turtle we have seen the most of to date is the red-eared slider

We will continue to monitor the species to see if these trends continue.

Previous Censuses

See results and photos from 2010, 2011 and 2012.