Rocky Flats News & Candelas Stories

Welcome to Candelas Backyard Blog, providing news, information and contributions representing our community's support for Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, which will open to the public in 2018.

Do you have a story to tell, interesting facts to share or have a great Refuge photo you’ve taken? Send those to us at backyardblog@candelsaslife.com. We'll let you know before we use them.

(Note: This site is a production of Candelas Life Wide Open and not officially affiliated with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge or any government organization. We reserve all rights to editorial decisions.)

Western Painted Turtles in Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge - blog post image

Western Painted Turtles in Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge

The Western painted turtle is one of the many animals found in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and is the most common turtle in North America.

The turtle's top shell is dark and smooth and its skin is a variety of colors such as olive, black, red, orange and yellow. The Western painted turtle has an intricate red pattern on the bottom of its shell. This characteristic is how you can tell this turtle apart from other types of Painted turtles. In the wild adult Western painted turtles can live more than 55 years.

This turtle eats aquatic plants, algae, and small water creatures such as insects, crustaceans and fish. They build their habitats in the shallow waters found in marshes, ponds, creeks and lake shores. At the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge the turtles primarily live in ponds and streams.

Photo courtesy of Nature Mapping Foundation

Reliant on warmth from its surroundings, the Painted Turtle is active only during the day when it sunbathes for hours on logs or rocks. During the winter the turtle hibernates, usually in the mud at the bottom of water bodies.

Although the Western painted turtle is the most abundant turtle in North America, the population has declined. Habitat loss and road kills have reduced the turtle's population. That is why the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is so important. It gives these turtles a safe haven in the Denver area!

Learn more about the wildlife at the Rocky Flats national Wildlife Refuge here!

Contact the Refuge

 9371 McIntyre Street Arvada, CO 80007





CandelasRockyFlats.com is published by Arvada Residential Partners to provide current and prospective residents of north Jefferson County with information and resources regarding Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and has no official association with any government agency. Please send comments or suggestions to info@candelasrockyflats.com.