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Small actions

Small actions that help turtles

western pond turtle

The Pacific Northwest is home to two native turtle species – western painted and western pond turtles. Because their hatchlings are small and grow slowly, they become easy prey for predators, including non-native species such as bullfrogs and largemouth bass. Non-native turtles – which can enter the environment when pet owners "set them free" – compete for habitat and can spread diseases to native turtles. The destruction of wetlands, invasive plants, water diversion and dams also deprive native turtles of critical habitat.

How you can help

  1. Report turtle sightings on

    A turtle sits on a log in a pond.

    Seen a turtle? By recording your turtle observations on's electronic form, you can help biologists and wildlife officials better understand where turtles live and how many there are in Oregon. The information collected in the turtle database also informs decisions on how best to protect Oregon's native western pond and western painted turtles.

  2. Leave the leaves

    Three goats eat from a pile of large brown leaves.

    Leaving leaves where they land provides shelter for pollinators, invertebrates, birds and reptiles. These species help manage pests and increase pollination in your garden, so having a habitat for them can keep them around when you need them the most. By spring the leaves will compost and enrich your soil.

  3. Donate to the Oregon Zoo Foundation

    Adult female checkerspot butterfly in the Butterfly Lab.

    Donate now and make a world of difference for wildlife!