Cuyahoga Valley National Park Reptiles

Observant visitors exploring the Beaver Marsh or other wetlands along the Cuyahoga River are sometimes rewarded with the sight of a northern water snake sunning itself on a half-submerged log or a common snapping turtle peering through the duckweed covering its head like a veil. Twenty species of reptiles are found in CVNP including 11 snakes, 8 turtles, and 1 skink. All species are native with the exception of the red-eared slider, an exotic turtle species.

No poisonous snakes have been found in the park, although two species;northern copperheads and Massasauga rattlesnakes (an endangered species in Ohio );have been identified in nearby counties. The stocky, dark-colored Northern water snake is sometimes mistakenly identified as a water moccasin, a poisonous snake not found in the state.

None of the park's reptiles are threatened or endangered. However, three species of turtles;the eastern box turtle, the spotted turtle, and Blanding's turtle;have been designated species of special interest in Ohio. These species, like all species of animals and plants within CVNP, are protected.

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