TurtleZone is a website designed to help raise awareness of the diversity of turtle species we have in Massachusetts, raise awareness about the plight of endangered turtles, and educate its visitors specifically about the turtles in Berkshire County.

Q. What do turtles do in the winter?
A. Many of them brumate.
Brumate is just another word for hibernate. Find out more here: How Turtles Hibernate Through the Winter

All but one of our turtle species overwinter in mud and leaf litter in the bottom of lakes, ponds, or slowing-moving streams. During warm spells, some will become more active and can be seen swimming under the ice. The Eastern box turtle, a terrestrial species, burrows into loose soil or sand, or enters old mammal holes to spend the winter. The rare diamondback terrapin buries itself in tidal flats and coastal streams, but may emerge during prolonged spells of warm weather.

Turtles of Massachusetts

Massachusetts has ten native freshwater turtles and tortoises, and seven of these are listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA).  In addition, Massachusetts has one widely distributed, introduced (non-native) species.


Blanding's Turtle

Bog Turtle

Box Turtle

Northern Diamondback Terrapin

Musk Turtle

Red-Eared Slider

Snapping Turtle

Spotted Turtle

Wood Turtle


Links courtesy of the Turtle Conservation Project.

Most Common Turtles Found in the Berkshires

Painted Turtle
Snapping Turtle
Wood Turtle