Renée Rondeau took this photo of an ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata) in Bent County, where CNHP has been conducting monitoring for this species. These turtles are found throughout most of the Central Shortgrass Prairie ecoregion, although they are essentially absent from the area north of the South Platte River. Habitat is typically sandhill and shortgrass prairie on soft, sandy soils with scattered yucca and prickly pear cactus. One of the greatest threats to this species is direct mortality from vehicle collisions. Habitat loss and collection for the pet trade are also likely threats.
Check out more about the ornate box turtle’s conservation status on NatureServe Explorer.