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Turtles Around Las Vegas
Wildlife Around Las Vegas

There are three species of turtles to expect around Las Vegas; one is a native land turtle (Desert Tortoise), one is a native water turtle (Spiny Softshell), and one is a non-native aquatic turtle (Red-eared Slider). Desert tortoises are listed as a federally Threatened Species, so they are protected under the Endangered Species Act. If you find one in the desert, make sure it doesn't get hurt (e.g., crossing a highway), but otherwise leave them alone. Look for the other turtles in ponds around the area. Red-ears are widely kept as pets, but if you have a pet turtle, please do not release it into native ponds or streams outside of town. If you must release your pet, let it go in a neighborhood pond (e.g., Sunset Pond) in town where it will not affect wild ecosystems.

Photo Taxonomy Species
Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) Land Tortoises (Testudinidae) Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
Spiny Softshell (Trionyx spiniferus) Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae) Texas Softshell (Trionyx spiniferus emoryi)
Spiny Softshell (Trionyx spiniferus)
Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) Pond Sliders (Emydidae) Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta)
Turtle Species not Around Las Vegas
Photo Taxonomy Species
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Land Tortoises (Testudinidae) Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) Land Tortoises (Testudinidae)

Lonesome George, Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni)

Big Bend Slider (Trachemys gaigeae) Pond Sliders (Emydidae)

Big Bend Slider (Trachemys gaigeae)

Florida Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni)
Suwannee Cooters (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis)

Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola) Pond Sliders (Emydidae) Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola)
Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)
Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae) Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121116

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