Skip to main content

Barbour's Map Turtle Status Assessment

map turtles basking on logs in river

Basking Barbour's map turtles on the Apalachicola River.

Barbour’s map turtle (Graptemys barbouri) was included in a multi-species petition for protection under the Endangered Species Act. In order to evaluate the status and distribution of Barbour’s map turtle in Florida, single-pass basking surveys were conducted in the Choctawhatchee, Chipola, Apalachicola, and Ochlockonee rivers in the panhandle and in the Ocklawaha River in the peninsula; baseline data for comparison were available from portions of the known range. A total of 5,917 G. barbouri were observed along 502 river-km in the panhandle, and the known range was expanded by 76 river-km. No Barbour’s map turtles were detected in 40 river-km in the Ocklawaha River. In order to clarify observed abundances recorded during the distributional effort by accounting for daily detectability, repetitive basking surveys were conducted on sections of the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola. On the middle Apalachicola River, repeated surveys covered six 2-km sections (12 km total), and map turtle abundance was estimated at 2,079 individuals (or 173.3 turtles/km). Repeated surveys on the Ochlockonee River estimated abundance along five 5-km sections below Lake Talquin (25 km total) at 292 map turtles (or 11.7 turtles/km).

Request the research publication to learn more.