As the only aquatic turtle native to California, we feel strongly about our direct involvement in their future – in the Zoo community and in the wild.
Making a difference in in Western Pond Turtle Populations
Eleven Western Pond Turtles hatched at the Sacramento Zoo in 2016. Weighing only five to six grams at hatching, these tiny turtles have big shells to fill as they grow to their adult weight of between 6000 and 1200 grams (1.3 to 2.6 lbs.). All the Western Pond Turtles at the Sacramento Zoo play important roles as animal ambassadors at the Zoo, aiding in our commitment to the species.
Western Pond Turtles are found in the most western of the United States. In Washington and Oregon it is designated as “Endangered”. In California (and Baja California) it is a “Species of Special Concern” and listed as “Threatened”. Their population is drastically declining primarily due to habitat loss from urbanization and conversion to agricultural needs.
The Sacramento Zoo is home to one of the largest populations of Western Pond Turtles housed within an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility and the Zoo is an active participant in the AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for them.
The Sacramento Zoo is helping this species in a number of ways. Read More