We found these turtles sunning themselves on a small pond.
The Western Painted Turtle is named after the bright yellow stripes on its head, neck, tail and legs, and the glowing red on its plastron (shell covering the belly) and under-edge of its carapace (shell covering the back).
Most adult Painted Turtles spend the winter hibernating in the mud at the bottom of ponds and lakes. Once temperatures warm up and the ice leaves the water, Painted Turtle courtship begins.
In B.C., Painted Turtles are found in pockets throughout the southern interior, as far north as Golden. This includes the Okanagan Valley, Kamloops Lake, Shuswap Lake, and the Creston and Nelson Area.
At present, the Western Painted Turtle is on the provincial blue list. This means they are considered vulnerable to habitat loss, and susceptible to human and natural disturbances. Habitat is being lost because of pollution and waterway interference due to damming, agriculture, and urbanization of waterfronts.