The following is a compilation of species which have been shown to be important to riparian ecosystems.
Wood turtles have been classified as rare, declining and vulnerable in almost every province and state within their range.
Studies have also shown that turtles, in general, are unusual among vertebrates in that even extremely modest mortality from unnatural causes can lead to population decline. Habitat loss and degradation, fragmentation by highways, water pollution, and collection as pets are of the primary threats to wood turtles. Vehicle-related mortality is one of the more horrid and immediate threats to turtle population viability. Every year thousands of turtles are killed on highways as they try to find nest sites or look for mates. Other threats include an overabundance of raccoons, opossums, and skunks. All of which will prey of eggs, hatchlings and adult turtles.
Tom Akre, a research associate at SCBI, and his graduate students Lorien Lemmon & Jeff Dragon, are engaged in ongoing research on Wood Turtle population in Northern Virginia.