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Turtle Identification

Have you ever found a turtle in Arizona and wondered what to do?


There are many turtles, native or nonnative, commonly kept in captivity in Arizona.  Often these turtles escape or are unlawfully released, meaning that you may find one in your neighborhood or even in the wild.  This website will help you identify a turtle that you may have found, and provide information on what you should do with it.  Because there are more exotic species than native found in residential areas, this site is mostly geared towards nonnative (exotic) species that are commonly encountered.  If you find a turtle in the wild, as opposed to a residential area, the best thing to do is to let it be.  Our native species are protected and most cannot be collected, even with a hunting license.  See current regulations at www.azgfd.gov.

 

Decision Tree

 
Click on the diagram to the right to identify a turtle >>  
 

 

 
 
Please contact the appropriate agency if you find a tortoise or turtle
outside of Arizona
 
 

 

California
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife (916) 445-0411
Colorado
- Colorado Division of Wildlife (303) 297-1192
Nevada
- Nevada Division of Wildlife (775) 688-1500
New Mexico
- New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (505) 476-8000
Texas
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (800) 792-1112
Utah
- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (801) 538-4700

 

For natural history information on Arizona’s native turtles visit www.azgfd.gov/turtle

 


 


AZGFD Turtle Pages
line
- Turtle Conservation and Management
- Desert tortoises
- Captive desert tortoise care
- Ornate box turtles
- Mud turtles
- Painted turtles
- Nonnative turtles
   
Related AZGFD Links
- Heritage Fund
- State Wildlife Grants
- Arizona Reptile and Amphibian Regulations
- Wildlife Center
- Wildlife News
- Watchable Wildlife
- Nongame Species Management
- Living With Venomous Reptiles
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews
External Links
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- Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group
- Southwest PARC
- Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
- Turtle Survival Alliance
  Desert Tortoise Council
- California Turtle and Tortoise Club
- Phoenix Herp Society
- NatureServe

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