European pond turtle

BW_ 2014-06-195018

Turtles and tortoises are a truly remarkable group of reptiles. These ancient looking animals, protected by their characteristic shell can be found in a variety of habitats.

There are no native species in Belgium, but recently I visited central France to photograph the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), one of the few freshwater turtle species occurring in Europe. The species is listed as near threatened by the IUCN, as alteration of its habitat due to intensification of agriculture, urban expansion… are affecting its occurrence. Remaining populations are further affected by pollution, competition with introduced species and possibly from illegal collecting for the pet trade too. I had an amazing experience snorkeling with these animals¬†and hope you enjoy the pictures posted here below.

BW_ 2014-06-195067

swimming in a pond with clear water

BW_ 2014-06-195004

surfacing for air

BW_ 2014-06-184969against the sun

BW_ 2014-06-195112swimming in between air bubbles

BW_ 2014-06-195108

 split-level shot

BW_ 2014-06-195908Close-up of the head (out of the water)

 

This entry was posted in Europe, reptiles, underwater.

One Comment

  1. Raoul Gerend June 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    These pictures are stunning. I’m sure it was a great experience to encounter this species the way you did. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your pictures.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*