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Wood turtle

There are, in Quebec, seven species of terrapins, including the wood turtle is a part. This tortoise lives mainly in rivers with sand or gravel beds. It can thus be found in the river Richelieu.
In the summer, it lives in woods and fields but always near water, which it uses to regulate its body temperature.
The shell of the wood turtle varies between the brown and the grey and the stomach is yellow with black spots. Its legs and neck have a colour which varies between orange and red. The male is a little longer and bigger than the female: it can measure between 19 and 22 cms and weighs approximately 1Kg, while the female measures between 18 and 20 cms and weighs approximately 900 g.
The wood turtle mainly eats leaves, mushrooms, and insects or small fruits.
In Quebec, this species is threatened because it is often captured for commercial purposes or to feed collections, and threatened because it is the victim of the development of the human activities (disturbance, road accidents ) and predators (destruction of nests).

Spiny Softshell

The spiny softshell is an aquatic sort which is a part of the family of Trionychidae (tortoises with soft shell). Its shell is without scales and provided with small thorns, on the sides. The colour of its shell varies between green and brown and small black dots. The head and the legs are green or grey with small black dots. The stomach can be white or yellow.
The male is smaller than the female, even if its tail is much longer, its shell can measure up to 24 cms while that of the female can reach 50 centimetres.
The spiny softshell is species which lives mainly in streams, lakes, ponds and rivers. It is a carnivorous species which eats insects, crayfishes, worms, fish and frogs. We find the spiny softshell everywhere along the river Richelieu and especially around the Lake Champlain.
The government of Quebec has registered the spiny softshell as a threatened species, which means that its complete extinction is feared, because its population is plummeting. The construction of dams, the modification of banks caused by the construction of infrastructures, the nautical and agricultural traffic and the collisions with vehicles are factors causing the decrease of the population of the spiny softshell.




Fauna River Richelieu