Migration in November
On November 19, 2017, I was surprised to see three Chinese pond turtles (Mauremys reevesii, Reeve’s turtle, クサガメ) crawling up a nearly empty irrigation canal. The was my first time to see turtles like these with three ridges along their backs. I later learned that this small turtle is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Japan Ministry of the Environment: 環境省レッドリスト).
The turtles were making their way upstream, probably migrating to a small pond along the canal.
The closest one withdrew into its shell as soon as it noticed me.
I backed away, but turtle was surprised by a white wagtail (Motacilla alba, ハクセキレイ).
Eventually the turtle posed before returning its journey.
Sighting in January
On January 2, 2018, I spotted a Chinese pond turtle upstream in the canal near the pond, which had dried out. It was basking in the sun under a little waterfall where food was plentiful.
The turtle was covered with mud and some vegetation.
This small turtle is not very photogenic, but the survival of Mauremys reevesii as a threatened species makes this Chinese pond turtle a beautiful creature.