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Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys Picta Bellii)

Existing Protection or Other Status Designations

As the Western Painted Turtle is not considered at risk in Manitoba (S4) and Saskatchewan (S4), it receives no protection aside from that afforded in parks and natural area reserves. It is S4 in Ontario too, but it is listed as a specially protected reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. In Alberta, the species is ranked critically imperiled (S1) by NatureServe (NatureServe 2004) and Sensitive by the province (Alberta SRD 2000) and despite the fact that there are few protected areas within its range, there are no management or conservation initiatives to protect it further.  Nor are there provincial measures to protect turtles and their habitats in British Columbia, except in the Columbia River Basin, where Hydro’s CBFWCP is protecting wetlands, and attempting to reduce road mortality at some lakes in the Columbia Basin through fencing, establishing artificial nest sites, and/or educating the public with viewing platforms and signage (e.g., Gillies and St. Clair 1997; Maltby 2000; Clark and Grueing 2002). 

Even when jurisdictional wetlands are protected by municipalities, provincial conservation initiatives, riparian provisions, or federal (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) regulations, nesting habitats away from water generally are not although Ontario does have a 120-m provision for adjacent lands. This would cover some but not all nesting areas.