Whether a baby turtle hibernates depends on the species; typically non-tropical species hibernate, while tropical species don’t hibernate. BoxTurtles.com notes that hibernation is a delicate process that can be fatal if executed improperly; therefore, there’s not a specific age, but certain conditions, that determine when a turtle will begin hibernation.
Certain species of turtles and tortoises can hibernate for up to a period of eight months out of the year. These species include Horsfields or Russian tortoises, desert tortoises, red-eared sliders, Box turtles, spotted turtles, snapping turtles and wood turtles. BoxTurtles.com cautions pet owners to not induce or interrupt hibernation without proper knowledge of how to do so.
Turtles are cold-blooded creatures that rely upon the exterior environment in order to govern their internal body temperatures. According to Marietta College, the falling temperatures and scarcity of food associated with colder weather requires many species of turtles to hibernate in order to survive. Tortoises will attempt to find a safe place to begin their hibernation, while hibernating turtles will seek cover at the bottom of a pond or lake.