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Injury and death due to boat propellers and fishing also threaten this species. They are associated with freshwater habitat. Fletcher, M. 2002. Update COSEWIC status report on the spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera in Canada, in COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera in Canada. Update COSEWIC status report on the spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera in Canada, in COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the spiny softshell turtle Apalone spinifera in Canada. With its soft, leathery carapace and pointy snout, the spiny softshell is unlike any other turtle in Ontario. Efforts to save softshell turtle slow but steady, Betrayed! Apalone spinifera (Spiny Softshell Turtle) is a species of turtles in the family softshell turtles. While the North American softshell turtles such as Florida softshell turtle, smooth softshell turtle, and the spiny softshell turtle hold statuses of Least Concern according to IUCN. Despite being placed on the endangered species list, the spiny softshell turtle has been thriving in the London area thanks to work by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. The spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera): The spiny softshell turtle is often also referred to as the "pancake turtle" (2). 214 King Street West, Suite 612 Toronto, ON M5H 3S6, © 2010 — 2021 Ontario Nature. Unfortunately, many spiny softshell turtles do not even reach the reproductive stage. They are often recognized for their peculiar long snouts and pancake-flat appearance. The Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is a species of softshell turtle that is endemic to China (Inner Mongolia to Hainan), with records of escapees—some of which have established introduced populations—in a wide range of other Asian countries, as well as Spain, Brazil and Hawaii.. Here are 10 of them that are particularly at risk. Have declined in some areas due to pollution, exploitation, and elimination of nesting sites. Spiny softshell turtle Conservation … Unlike many other turtles, their shell is soft, flat, and rubbery. This is not good news in conservation terms for the species. Fun Fact The spiny softshell turtle, in parts of its range, hibernates in mud for about half of the year. The amount of suitable nesting habitat that remains is becoming further degraded and fragmented by human development. Populations … A scientist holds two spiny soft shell turtle hatchlings inside a lab at the Fanshawe Conservation Area in London, Ont. The spiny softshell turtle is a native species to Vermont that’s listed as threatened by the state, but recent conservation efforts appear to have helped boost the population. Ottawa. Individuals may move up to 30 kilometres over the course of a summer, and daily movements exceeding four kilometres have been observed. Their range extends across much of North America from Mexico to southern Canada. Check out the IDNR’s Wild About Illinois Turtles! The species’ status was confirmed in January 2010. They are found in The Nearctic. As adults they do not have many natural predators, but it is their eggs and young that are at highest risk. Apalone spinifera The Eastern Spiny Softshell is a highly aquatic species that lives in rivers and shorelines of large lakes. Eggs hatch in late summer or fall. It is small (shell usually less than five inches long), has yellow spots on a dark shell, and lives in shallow wetlands. Charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001, Spiny softshell turtle hatchling © Scott Gillingwater, Spiny softshell turtle hatchling © Joe Crowley. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The turtle species that bask in the water, Spiny Softshell, Northern Map Turtle, and Eastern Musk Turtle, are vulnerable to boating mortality. © 2021 Awesome Ocean. The spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America, with females weighing up to 26 pounds. These turtles can get almost half the oxygen they require by breathing through their skin while in water, which allows them to stay under water for up to five hours. It takes eight to ten years for a Spotted Turtle to reach maturity, and they may live as long as 60-100 … The spiny softshell turtles diet consists primarily of insects, fish, and crustaceans. Campbell, C.A., and G.R. Additional detail about legal protection for species at risk in Ontario is available on our Legal Protection page. It also boasts a long snout that acts as a snorkel. The Northern spiny softshell turtle is the only freshwater turtle with a leathery carapace that appear in Canada (Quebec and Ontario). The Spiny Softshell Turtle is endangered in Canada with only a small number of hatchling making it to adulthood. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to take turtle eggs from the wild. Read the assessment report (PDF) What it looks like. The carapace of males and juveniles has large spots with a dark outline, whereas the spots on the carapace of females are smaller and are not outlined. The spiny softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle, one of the largest freshwater turtle species in North America. website to learn about the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica). The spiny softshell turtle is endangered both provincially and nationally, and only a small percentage of hatchlings make it to adulthood in the wild, the conservation authority said. The spiny softshell turtle is currently listed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act and is Threatened under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007. The turtles can live up to 50 years, and become sexually mature at 8-10 years of age. Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle. Boaters may not even see turtles basking in the water and do not feel the impact of hitting them. It was reassessed as endangered in December 2016. Spiny softshell turtles feed on crayfish, molluscs, fish, amphibians and vegetation. The Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is state endangered and a species of regional conservation concern. 1-17 pp. What's especially cool about softshell… Although not listed as threatened in the United States, spiny softshell turtles still face some threats, including habitat destruction and chemical pollution. Scientific Name: Apalone spinifera spinifera Size: 5 – 18.9” (adult carapace length) Status: Locally common in the western part of its Great Lakes range but uncommon to rare and local in the east. (again) Ontario unravels protections for species at risk, blog, Fall 2016, Windsor to Permanently Protect Ojibway Shores, blog, Summer 2019, Charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Although populations within the United States are considered stable, the spiny softshell turtle has recently been listed as an endangered species in Canada. The Spiny softshell is a medium-large freshwater turtle that is easily recognized by its shell, which is round, rather flat, leathery and can reach up to 54 centimetres long. Both the common name, spiny softshell, and the specific name, spinifera, refer to the spiny, cone-like projections on the leading edge of the carapace, which are not scutes. Females lay up to 36 eggs, though the typical clutch size is around 20. Adults are killed and eaten only by humans, they have few natural predators. 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