The bog turtle is now the state’s official reptile following legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy at Princeton’s Riverside Elementary School. The DEP’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program estimates that there are fewer than 2,000 of these inhabitants of groundwater-fed freshwater wetlands left in the state. Once abundant in New Jersey, this secretive, palm-sized turtle today is found only in rural areas such as Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, and Salem counties. Bog turtles have very specific habitat needs and are very sensitive to changes to its environment. The DEP has been working to protect land around high-priority populations, restoring habitat by eliminating invasive plant species, and identifying critical movement corridors.