One of the most astounding things about the area is the turtle diversity. With the exception of the two rare species I'm working with, turtles are extremely abundant in basically every habitat. We see turtles in fields, ponds, streams, and on roads. Here's a look at some of the most frequently encountered species I've seen within five miles of the house.
Spotted Turtle - Clemmys guttata
Musk Turtle - Sternotherus odoratus
Eastern Box Turtles - Terrapene carolina
Spotted Turtles & Eastern Box Turtles are both listed by the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife as species of special concern, but both seem to be faring well in the state. Though turtles seem to be fairly common in the area, snakes have been way less abundant. There are a few species that are fairly common, including our resident Northern Black Racer that we see frequently around the house.
Northern Black Racer - Coluber constrictor constrictor
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon
Eastern Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis
Eastern Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum
It's been a busy summer so far. And I'm in the process of writing blogs on the herpetofauna on the Mountains of northern New Jersey and the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Stay tuned for those, that's all for now. Until next time, happy herping!