European pond turtleEmys orbicularis
Up here in the North, the European pond turtle spends the winter in hibernation. It lowers its breathing and metabolism to conserve energy, and wakes only when warmer weather returns and it’s time to find a mate.
Length: up to 20 cm
The turtle thrives in calm or slow-moving water with abundant vegetation, such as ponds, marshes and wetlands, and is found in both fresh and brackish water.
The turtles do best when there are sunny spots on the water surface. They become sexually mature at between five and ten years, the breeding season getting under way as soon as they awake from hibernation.