SALEM — Snapping turtles, an invasive species in Oregon, are nesting this time of year and are more likely to be encountered on land which is an opportunity for the public to help out.
Please report sightings of snapping turtles to ODFW by visiting https://oregonturtles.org.
Snapping turtles can harm native turtle populations as well as amphibians, mammals, birds, and fish. ODFW wildlife biologists have seen an uptick in reports, and some snapping turtles have been captured recently by members of the public (photos available). If you find a snapping turtle on land and can safely do so, contain the turtle and immediately contact ODFW. For example, put a large sturdy container such as a plastic storage tote over the turtle and place a heavy object on top to prevent the turtle from escaping. Stay away from the snapping turtle’s head – they have a long neck and a powerful bite.
The common snapping turtle, indigenous to the eastern United States but invasive in Oregon, can reach up to 18 inches in length. Its top shell is strongly serrated and varies from tan/brown to olive to almost black. Its long tail has three rows of saw-tooth keels.
Invasive turtles can be delivered to your local ODFW office when they are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call ahead to arrange your delivery.