snapping turtle, credit: Benjamin Simeneta/Essentials Collection/Getty Images

reptile_iconSpecial Concern Provincially and Nationally


• Canada’s largest freshwater turtle, reaching 20-26 centimetres and weighing almost 15 kilograms
• Can live well over 100 years
• Large black, olive or brown shells typically covered in algae
• Tail can be longer than body, with triangular crests along its length
• Prefers slow-moving, shallow waters


• In Canada, found from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia
• Though primarily limited to the southern part of Ontario, occurs as far north as Kenora


• Habitat loss and degradation (including wetland loss, dredging, road grading, water drawdowns)
• Road mortality
• Persecution
• Hunting
• Wildlife trade
• Pollution
• Nest predation
• Boat propeller strikes


• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act, 2002


Snapping turtle is legally hunted in Ontario.