Chicken Turtle - Deirochelys reticularia

Chicken Turtle

*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.

Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: The Eastern Chicken Turtle, Deirochelys reticularia reticularia, occurs within the Florida Parishes of Louisiana, whereas the Western Chicken Turtle, Deirochelys reticularia miaria, can be found in other parts of the state.


Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Statewide, but uncommon in parts of central and north Louisiana, as well as southeastern Louisiana between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers.


Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  Chicken Turtles have not be assessed on the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G5 (Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  None

Louisiana Conservation Status:  Chicken Turtles have a ranking of S2 (imperiled because of rarity – 6-20 known extant populations) in Louisiana.

*** If you live in the range of this species in Louisiana and believe you may have observed this species please let me know (take a picture if possible), as there may be more unknown populations in the state.***

Author's Remarks: I have only detected this species twice in Louisiana, once dead on the road in Pearl River WMA (Honey Island Swamp) of St. Tammany Parish and another in early 2023 in Vernon Parish. I have seen two other individuals, one in 2006 in Apalachicola Nat’l Forest in Florida and one in 2017 in eastern Jefferson County, Texas.

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