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Which Animals Prey On Turtles?

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Turtles are some of the most vulnerable animals on earth. They are slow-moving, have poor eyesight, and are easily caught by their predators.

Most turtle species are endangered or threatened due to habitat destruction, poaching, and overfishing.

Turtles are reptiles that lay eggs and hatch from them. There are two main types of turtles: sea turtles and land turtles.

A turtle coming in contact with a jellyfish

Sea turtles live in saltwater environments such as oceans, rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Land turtles live in freshwater environments.

Sea turtles are very important to humans because they provide food and income through tourism, fishing, and shell trade.

In addition, they also play a role in the ecosystem by cleaning beaches and providing habitats for other marine life.

Land turtles are much less studied than sea turtles. Their populations are declining rapidly due to habitat loss, hunting, and trapping. The IUCN Red List lists these species as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable.

The following is a list of predators that eat turtles.


Humans can be considered a predator of turtles. This includes people who hunt and kill turtles for meat, capture turtles for pets and take turtles out of the wild for human consumption.


Dogs are one of the most common predators of turtles. They catch turtles by chasing them into the water or catching them when they come ashore to lay eggs.


Cats are another type of predator that eats turtles. They catch turtles when they come ashore to nest.


Birds are also known to prey upon turtles. Some birds like owls and eagles will swoop down and grab a turtle with their talons. Other birds like gulls and crows will peck at turtles’ shells.


Snakes are another group of predators that eat turtles, especially during hibernation. During this time, snakes will often go after the nests of baby turtles.


Fish are also predators of turtles. Many fish species are attracted to nesting turtles. These include catfish, carp, and bass.

Marine Mammals

Marine mammals are predators of turtles. Dolphins, seals, whales, and porpoises all eat turtles.


Amphibians are also predators of turtles, mainly frogs and salamanders. Frogs will eat turtles that fall into ponds. Salamanders will eat turtles if they get stuck in mud.


Insects are also predators of turtles. Some insects like ants and bees will eat turtle eggs.

Others like beetles and grasshoppers will eat the turtle’s carapace (the hard top part of the shell).


Reptiles are also predators of turtles including lizards, crocodiles, and tortoises. Lizards and crocodiles will eat turtles when they are young. Tortoises will eat turtles if they are hungry enough.

How To Protect A Turtle

A turtle being held

Turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on September 25th 1973.

The ESA has been amended several times over the years, but it remains the same basic purpose.

It protects threatened and endangered animals from being hunted, trapped, collected, transported, sold, traded, and released.

There are many ways you can help protect turtles from becoming an endangered species.

Do Not Take Turtles From The Wild

It is illegal to take any animal listed under the ESA from the wild. If you see a turtle on the road, please do not pick it up.

Instead, call your local wildlife agency and ask them what you should do.

In some states, it may be legal to take a turtle off the road. Check with your state’s department of natural resources before doing anything.

Report Any Sightings Of Turtles

If you see a turtle on land or in the ocean, report it to your local wildlife agency.

Make sure to note where you saw it so that someone else does not find it. You can also report sightings online through the National Wildlife Federation’s website.

Keep Your Pets Inside

If you have a pet dog or cat, keep it inside. This will prevent your pets from eating turtles.

Use Natural Ways To Repel Turtles

You can use certain plants to repel turtles away from your property if you have boisterous pets. One example is the plant called Coneflower.

When planted around the base of trees, bushes, and fences, it repels turtles away from these areas.

Plant Trees And Shrubs That Are Suitable For Turtles

Plant trees and shrubs that are suitable for turtles. Examples of these trees and shrubs are: oak, hickory, maple, ash, elm, pine, cedar, and cypress.

Avoid Polluted Areas

Avoid using pesticides or fertilizers near water sources. Pesticides and fertilizer run-off pollutes our waterways and kills fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and other aquatic life.

Don’t Feed Fish Or Other Animals To Turtles

Do not feed fish or other animals to turtles. They could become sick and die.

Clean Up After Your Pet Dog Or Cat

Clean up after your pet dogs and cats. This includes picking up their feces and urine. If you do not clean up after your pet, then a turtle may eat their feces.

Can A Turtle Also Be A Predator?

A turtle reaching for the fish

Yes! Many turtles are predators. Some turtles eat other animals such as mice, and even small mammals.

Most turtles hunt at night, while others hunt during the day. Turtles are very good hunters because they are able to swim quickly and silently.

How Can I Help Prevent Turtles From Becoming An Endangered Species?

There are many things you can do to help prevent turtles from becoming an endangered species. First, make sure you don’t take turtles from the wild.

Second, report any sightings of turtles. Third, plant trees and shrubs that suit turtles.

Fourth, avoid using pesticides and fertilizers near water sources, and fifth, clean up after your pets.

Which Birds Prey On Turtles?

Many types of birds prey on turtles. These include hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and vultures.

Hawks and owls usually catch turtles during the night when they are sleeping. Eagles, falcons, and eagles often catch turtles during the day. Vultures typically catch turtles by flying over them and swooping down.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Turtle?

A turtle has a lifespan of about 50 years. However, some turtles live longer than this.


To conclude, there are many types of animals that prey on turtles. There are also many ways to protect turtles from being eaten.

By learning more about turtles, we can all work together to save turtles and ensure that they do not become extinct due to predatory behavior from humans and/or other animals.

Turtles have one of the longest lifespans of any species.

We should therefore ensure that they are able to fulfil their maximum potential by avoiding extracting them from their natural habitat.

We must also be making sure that our pets are kept on a leash when walking through areas that may contain turtles.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.