Oregon Turtles

Common Snapping Turtle (non-native invasive)

Common Snapping Turtle (non-native invasive)


  • Oval shell widens toward the back where it is strongly serrated
  • Shell color varies from tan/brown to olive to almost black
  • Bottom shell (plastron) yellowish, small and cross shaped
  • Top of tail has a series of large triangular plates
  • Adult shell length about 8-14 inches long and weighs 10-35 lbs


  • Mainly aquatic; prefers warmer, still or slow-moving waterbodies
  • Inhabits ponds, lakes, reservoirs, swamps, streams and rivers
  • In coast areas they are known to inhabit saltwater marshes


  • Prey on native fish and wildlife including native turtles
  • Compete with native turtles for food, basking and nesting sites, and covering habitat
  • May introduce parasites or diseases to native turtle populations


  • Regulated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) as Prohibited Non-Native Wildlife
  • Illegal to import/bring into Oregon or possess live without a permit from ODFW
  • More information about Common Snapping Turtles can be found here


  • Native to North America east of the Continental Divide