Restoring Alligator Snapping Turtles by Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

The alligator snapping turtle is a species of greatest conservation need in Tennessee’s wildlife action plan. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has initiated a restoration project to save the alligator snapping turtle in Tennessee. Since 2000, over 400 turtles have been reintroduced into many major Mississippi River drainages in West Tennessee. 

Previously, lack of funds prevented monitoring of the project and evaluating its success. Now, with State Wildlife Grant funds a multi-year project to monitor juvenile snapping turtle survival and habitat use is underway. Data on preferred habitat characteristics are being collected and integrated with mapping technology to help researchers determine the best locations for future releases, thus giving the young turtles the best chance for survival. This proactive effort will conserve the alligator snapping turtle before it becomes more rare and more costly to protect.

 

Photo: Juvenile alligator snapping turtle with radio transmitter attached/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

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