Turtles in South Carolina

TurtlesTurtles are unique reptiles, having boney or cartilaginous shells covering their bodies. The turtle’s shell is developed from its ribs, and grows with the turtle over its lifetime. In some turtles growth rings can be seen on the scutes (scales) covering the shell. Turtles are found in a wide variety of habitats in South Carolina including the ocean, freshwater lakes and rivers, dry sandhills, and forests.

University of Georgia, SREL

Marine (Sea) turtles

Additional resources for turtles

State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP)

Downloadable resources linked below are in the PDF format.


Will Dillman - SCDNR Herpetologist

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
PO Box 23205
Columbia, SC 29224
Phone: 803-734-3886
Fax: 803-734-6020

Email: dillmanj@dnr.sc.gov

Michelle Pate - SCDNR Sea Turtle Program Coordinator

Marine Resources
P.O. Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29422-2559
Phone: 843-953-9052
Fax: 843-953-9282

Email: pates@dnr.sc.gov

Mike Arendt - SCDNR In-Water Sea Turtle and Diamondback Terrapin Research

217 Fort Johnson Road
Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843-953-9097
Fax: 843-953-9220

Email: arendtm@dnr.sc.gov