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A rare find in the Puget Sound area. Considered an endangered species here in Washington. Listed as sensitive/critical in Oregon, and a species of special concern in California. Although habitat destruction is one of the biggest threats to the turtle, none of these state laws provides effective habitat protection. This looked like a large healthy specimen. Typically they will grow up to 8.5 in. wide and can live up to 50 years in the wild.
Spotted in a very lagoon like pond surrounded by thick vegetation next to the "North Trail" at Discovery Bay Park in Seattle, Wa.
As of 2013, two introduced populations occur in Puget Sound. The Columbia River Gorge has two reintroduced populations and two natural populations. Through a collaborative approach combining efforts in the field and at Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo, Washington has released more than 1,500 turtles to date. While this highlights the substantial progress made towards recovery of the species, these populations do not yet meet the needed size, age distribution and natural recruitment of young required for down-listing and recovery. WDFW and its partners are continuing to work towards western pond turtle recovery. Western pond turtles are omnivorous and most of their animal diet includes insects, crayfish and other aquatic invertebrates. Fish, tadpoles, and frogs are eaten occasionally, and carrion is eaten when available. Plant foods include filamentous algae, lily pads, tule and cattail roots.