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BC Conservation Data Centre: Conservation Status Report

Chrysemys picta pop. 2
Northern Painted Turtle - Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population


 
Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta pop. 2
English Name: Northern Painted Turtle - Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population
English Name Synonyms: Painted Turtle - Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population
Western Painted Turtle - Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population
   
Provincial Status Summary
Status: S3?
Date Status Assigned: March 30, 2018
Date Last Reviewed: March 30, 2018
Reasons: The interior population of Western Painted Turtle has been impacted by wetland loss and habitat alteration from human activities. Other serious threats include road mortality and introduced species. Data on trends would help refine the rank.
 
Range
Range Extent: F = 20,000-200,000 square km
Range Extent Estimate (km2): 118,454
Range Extent Comments: "The Intermountain ? Rocky Mountain population occurs primarily in major valley bottoms between mountain ranges across the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Major population centres include the Thompson and Okanagan valleys, the southern East Kootenay Trench, and the southern Cariboo Region." (COSEWIC 2016d). The estimated extent of the occurrence is 118,454 km square (COSEWIC 2016d).
Area of Occupancy (km2): F = 126-500
Area of Occupancy Estimate (km2): 350
Area of Occupancy Comments: The B.C. CDC calculated the area of occupancy to be 1,500 km2 (350 2x2 km grid cells), based on occurrences mapped as of March 2018; COSEWIC (2016d) estimated the area of occupancy to be 1,176 km2 (294 2x2 km grid cells).
 
Occurrences & Population
Number of Occurrences: D = 81 - 300
Comments: As of March 2017, the BC CDC has 127 known element occurrences mapped.
Number of Occurrences with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity: U = Unknown
Number of Occurrences Appropriately Protected & Managed: D = 13 - 40
Comments: 2017: Habitat protection and private land stewardship is in progress; there are many locations that are within provincial parks, municipal parks and conservation properties (B.C. Ministry of Environment. 2017b).

2012: A number of small parks provide turtles some protection including several provincial parks (e.g., Haynes Point, Kikomun Creek, Champion Lakes, Shuswap Lake, Grohman Narrows, and Okanagan Mountain), the Vaseaux Bighorn National Wildlife Area, and the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. In the Rocky Mountain Trench of southeastern B.C., the species appears to be secure as roughly 60% of wetlands in the Columbia River basin are protected by conservation efforts and there is a very large wildlife management area in Creston (COSEWIC 2006k).

Provincial wildlife acts protect turtles from killing and/or collection. Protected areas occur within the species' range. However, in many protected areas, individuals are still vulnerable to collection, nest disturbance and road mortality. Federal fish regulations, provincial management initiatives and municipal by-laws can also protect turtles (COSEWIC 2006k).
Population Size: EF = 2,500 - 100,000 individuals
Comments: "Unknown but thousands; possibly 5,000 - 10,000. Discerning adults from sub-adults is difficult and they are rarely differentiated." (COSEWIC 2016d)
 
Threats (to population, occurrences, or area affected)
Degree of Threat: BC = High - medium
Comments: 2017: Threats were assessed by experts in 2015, which resulted in a score of High - Medium (COSEWIC 2016d). In summary, threats include transportation and service corridors, residential & commercial development, agriculture & aquaculture, biological resource use, human intrusions & disturbance and natural system modifications (COSEWIC 2016d; B.C. Ministry of Environment. 2017).

From COSEWIC 2006k: Although the species appears to be widespread and secure in eastern B.C., with up to 60% of the wetlands in the Columbia River basin protected through conservation initiatives wetland habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, and road construction and use continue to increase in the Lower Mainland. Habitat loss may rise significantly with climate change. In the Okanagan, "natural" habitat loss (loss of numerous small lakes and ponds from recent extended droughts) has probably destroyed not only those turtle populations but connectivity between populations that remain. In addition, there is a significant loss of wetlands due to filling and draining to increase land for cultivation and development. Death from injuries from being hooked by fishermen have also been observed. Recent expansion of the raccoon (Procyon lotor) has likely reduced nesting success and led to increased mortality of hatchlings and nesting females.
 
Trend (in population, range, area occupied, and/or condition of occurrences)
Short-Term Trend: U = Unknown
Comments: Decline in area of occurrence and likely declining in numbers (COSEWIC 2006k).
Long-Term Trend: U = Unknown
Comments: This population has likely suffered declines from historical levels, especially in the Okanagan Valley, based on habitat trends (COSEWIC 2016d).
 
Other Factors
Intrinsic Vulnerability: AB=Highly to moderately vulnerable.
Comments: Given this species' low adult recruitment, delayed maturity, and high adult survival, chronic added mortality of juveniles and adults could eliminate local populations (COSEWIC 2006k).
Environmental Specificity: CD = Moderate to broad.
Other Rank Considerations:
 
Information Gaps
Research Needs:
Inventory Needs:
 
Stewardship
Protection:
Management:
 
Version
Author: Westereng, L.K.
Date: December 23, 2011
 
References
B.C. Ministry of Environment. 2017c. Management plan for the Painted Turtle ? Intermountain? Rocky Mountain Population (Chrysemys picta pop. 2) in British Columbia. B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC. 31 pp.
COSEWIC 2006k. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta bellii (Pacific Coast population, Intermountain-Rocky Mountain population and Prairie/Western Boreal - Canadian Shield population) in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 40 pp. (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/status_e.cfm).
COSEWIC 2016d. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta bellii (Pacific Coast population, Intermountain ? Rocky Mountain population and Prairie/Western Boreal ? Canadian Shield population) in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 40 pp
Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2018. Recovery Strategy for the Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) Pacific Coast population in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa. 2 parts, 31 pp. + 59 pp.
Matsuda, B.M., D.M. Green and P.T. Gregory. 2006. Royal BC Museum handbook amphibians and reptiles of British Columbia. Royal B.C. Mus., Victoria, BC. 266pp.
The Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team. 2016b. Recovery plan for the Painted Turtle ? Pacific Coast Population (Chrysemys picta pop. 1), in British Columbia. B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC. 89 pp. Repr. of 1st ed., The Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team, Victoria, BC. 89 p. (Orig. pub. 2016)
 

Please visit the website Conservation Status Ranks for information on how the CDC determines conservation status ranks. For global conservation status reports and ranks, please visit the NatureServe website http://www.natureserve.org/.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2011. Conservation Status Report: Chrysemys picta pop. 2. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: https://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/ (accessed May 18, 2022).