Turtles in Arkansas

The state of Arkansas is known for its extreme weather and humid climate. There are also several lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, which suit many turtles well. Some common turtle species in the state include the Western Chicken Turtle, the Alligator Snapping Turtle, and the Southern Painted Turtle.

Turtles in Arkansas (AR)

Types of Turtles Found in Arkansas

Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae)

  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Alligator Snapping Turtle

Emydid Turtles (Emydidae)

Painted Turtles

  • Southern Painted Turtle

Chicken Turtles

  • Western Chicken Turtle

Map Turtles

  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Mississippi Map Turtle


  • Eastern River Cooter

Box Turtles


  • Red-eared Slider

Mud and Musk Turtles (Kinosternidae)

  • Mississippi Mud Turtle
  • Razor-backed Musk Turtle
  • Eastern Musk Turtle

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)

  • Midland Smooth Softshell
  • Spiny Softshell


Are there any endangered turtles in Arkansas?

The Alligator Snapping Turtle is a rare species in the state, classified as VU (Vulnerable) by the IUCN. Another similar Chelonian is the Ornate Box Turtle, classified as NT (Near Threatened), whose population has declined.

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