This Eastern Box Turtle Yearling was photographed in the mountains of western North Carolina. Eastern Box Turtles are declining over much of their range. They are very susceptible to habitat fragmentation, and road-related mortality. They also suffer from collection as pets. Because they take so long to mature, it is hard for box turtle populations to recover from these pressures.
Eastern Box Turtles also possess a homing instinct.
If you find a box turtle on the road, do not take it home with you and release it. A box turtle released away from its home range will often wander until it dies. Rather – if it is safe – move the box turtle to the side of the road.
Canon EOS 1D MK3, EF 100mm F4 MACRO L USM lens, Gitzo Tripod