European Pond Turtle

The European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) is one of two species of freshwater turtles in Europe and the only one in Serbia. It occurs in habitats with stagnant or slow-flowing water and rich vegetation. It feeds on insect larvae, molluscs, frogs, small fish, and to a lesser degree on plants. It is active during spring and summer, and it falls into winter sleep from October to May. In May females lay eggs (8–10) in loose soil near water. The sex of turtles depends on the egg incubation temperature; in cooler areas more males are hatched. The European Pond Turtle is a long-lived species which lives on average from 40 to 60 years. In Serbia, the European Pond Turtle is a strictly protected species under the Code on Declaration and Protection of Strictly Protected Species and Protected Wild Species of Plants, Animals and Fungi Annex I (Official Gazette No. 5/10). It is also listed as a strictly protected species in Europe (Resolution No. 6 of the Bern Convention and Anex II of Habitats Directive) and on the IUCN Red List of Near Threatened Species.