Turtles in Alabama

The southeastern US state of Alabama has extended coastlines, and numerous lakes, rivers, and wetlands, which makes it a heaven for numerous reptiles. Over 30 different turtles and tortoises are native to this state, with the most common species being the eastern box turtle, common snapping turtle, red-eared slider, and Alabama map turtle.

Turtles in Alabama (AL)

Types of Turtles Found in Alabama

Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)

Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae)

  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Alligator Snapping Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelyidae)

  • Leatherback sea turtle

Emydid Turtles (Emydidae)

Painted Turtles

Chicken Turtles

  • Eastern Chicken Turtle

Map Turtles

  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Barbour’s Map Turtle
  • Escambia Map Turtle
  • Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Alabama Map Turtle
  • Black-knobbed Sawback



  • Alabama Red-bellied Turtle
  • River Cooter
  • Florida Cooter

Box Turtle

  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Gulf Coast Box Turtle
  • Three-toed Box Turtle


Mud and Musk Turtles (Kinosternidae)

  • Striped Mud Turtle 
  • Eastern Mud Turtle
  • Razor-backed Musk Turtle 
  • Flattened Musk Turtle
  • Loggerhead Musk Turtle
  • Eastern Musk Turtle (Stinkpot)
  • Striped-necked Musk Turtle 

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)

  • Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell
  • Florida Softshell
  • Midland Smooth Softshell
  • Eastern Spiny Softshell
  • Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell

Tortoises (Testudinidae)


Are there any endangered turtles in Alabama?

The state counts around 10 native turtles among threatened or endangered species. The green sea turtle, Atlantic Leatherback Sea Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, and Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle are considered endangered, while the threatened turtles include the gopher tortoise, flattened musk turtle, and loggerhead sea turtle.

Where to see sea turtles in Alabama?

Sea turtles return to the same spots where they hatched when it is time to lay eggs. Since the coastal areas of Alabama are home to various sea turtle species, it is common to see them during their breeding season, between May and October. Fort Morgan, the Gulf Coast, and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge are some of the best places to observe the nesting behaviors of these turtles.

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