The Painted Turtle ? Intermountain?Rocky Mountain population (Chrysemys picta pop. 2) was designated as of Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC 2006) because ?the number of turtles is likely small and declining and because of extensive loss of wetland habitats and proliferation of roads.? It is listed as of Special Concern in Canada on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. In British Columbia, the taxon is ranked S2S3 (imperiled/vulnerable) by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre and is on the provincial Blue List. The British Columbia Conservation Framework ranks the Painted Turtle ? Intermountain?Rocky Mountain population as a Priority 2 under Goal 3 (Maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems).
The Painted Turtle is the only extant native turtle in British Columbia and, like many turtle species, has a relatively long lifespan, is slow to mature, has low reproductive rates, has high egg/hatchling mortality, and is dependent on specialized wetland/terrestrial habitat matrix.
The population is roughly estimated at 5000?10000 (COSEWIC 2016 in press) and is distributed within the province?s interior over three distinct regional genetic units: the Cariboo, the Thompson-Okanagan, and the Kootenays (Jensen et al. 2014). The total number of locations is suspected to be greater than 200 (COSEWIC 2016 in press).
Road mortality is one of the main threats facing this species. Road proliferation is extensive and ongoing at low elevations throughout the range of this turtle, especially in the Okanagan. Adult females travelling to and from nesting sites are especially vulnerable to road mortality.
The management goal is to maintain the Painted Turtle ? Intermountain?Rocky Mountain population throughout the distribution within British Columbia, and where possible increase populations that are declining or have declined historically.
The Management Plan has the following four objectives.
1. Protect1 habitat across the range of the population through legal and stewardship actions.
2. Mitigate road mortality and habitat destruction threats across the range of the population.
3. Complete an inventory across the range of the population, and monitor significant populations (> 50 individuals) and their responses to threats, protection, and mitigation actions.
4. Address key knowledge gaps including: potential impacts of agriculture/livestock; location of movement corridors; efficacy of road mortality protection and nest site enhancement projects; and potential impacts of invasive species.
Ministry of Environment. 2017. Management Plan for the Painted Turtle - Intermountain-Rocky Mountain Population (Chrysemys picta pop. 2) in British Columbia. Province of British Columbia. Management Plan (Species at Risk)