FOCAL SPECIES: Yucatán Box Turtle (Terrapene yucatana)
The northern portion of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula supports five species of freshwater turtle, including two species endemic to the Peninsula: Yucatán box turtle (Terrapene yucatana) and Creaser's mud turtle (Cryptochelys creaseri). The Yucatán box turtle remains one of the least well-known of all American turtles, and is certainly the most poorly known of the eastern box turtle species complex (formerly Terrapene carolina and subspecies). We are in the fourth year of a long-term, community-based program to investigate the status and distribution of wild box turtle populations in Yucatán, with the long-term goal of identifying feasible reserve areas and informing management strategies. This work is conducted in partnership with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Mexican National University (UNAM), and the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Our work in Yucatán is funded by the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, the Turtle Conservation Fund, Conservation International, and the Lucille F. Stickel Award (North American Box Turtle Conservation Committee).