Turtles in Georgia

Different kinds of turtle species make the state of Georgia their home. While most of these are freshwater species like cooters, sliders, snapping turtles, etc., saltwater turtles like the Leatherback and Hawksbill also visit the state. This can be attributed to Georgia’s humid climate and several water bodies, including the Chattooga River, the Chattahoochee River, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Turtles in Georgia (GA)

Types of Turtles Found in Georgia

Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)

Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae)

  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Alligator Snapping Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelyidae)

  • Leatherback Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys)

  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Emydid Turtles (Emydidae)

Glyptemys Turtles

  • Bog Turtle

Painted Turtles

  • Southern Painted Turtle
  • Eastern Painted Turtle
  • Midland Painted Turtle
  • Western Painted Turtle

Chicken Turtles

  • Eastern Chicken Turtle
  • Florida Chicken Turtle
  • Western Chicken Turtle

Map Turtles

  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Barbour’s Map Turtle
  • Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Alabama Map Turtle


  • Northern Diamondback Terrapin


  • Coastal Plain Cooter
  • Eastern River Cooter
  • Florida Red-bellied Cooter
  • Hieroglyphic River Cooter

Box Turtles


Spotted Turtles

Mud and Musk Turtles (Kinosternidae)

  • Striped Mud Turtle
  • Eastern Mud Turtle
  • Loggerhead Musk Turtle
  • Eastern Musk Turtle (Stinkpot)
  • Striped-necked Musk Turtle
  • Mississippi Mud Turtle

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)

  • Florida Softshell
  • Eastern Spiny Softshell
  • Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell

Tortoises (Testudinidae)


Are there any endangered turtles in Georgia?

Several of the turtles living in Georgia are at risk, including the Alligator Snapping Turtle, the Bog Turtle, the Spotted Turtle, the Green Turtle, and the Gopher Tortoise.

Where do sea turtles hatch in Georgia?

Sea turtles come ashore on Jekyll Island between May and August, digging sandy nests to lay their eggs. Once they hatch, the little ones face arguably the most challenging journey of their lives as they need to crawl across the beach to reach the safety of the ocean, risking predation from gulls, ghost crabs, raccoons, and more.

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