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Sternotherus carinatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA TESTUDINES KINOSTERNIDAE

Scientific Name: Sternotherus carinatus
Species Authority: (Gray, 1856)
Common Name(s):
English Razor-backed Musk Turtle, Keeled Musk Turtle
Synonym(s):
Aromochelys carinata Gray, 1856

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-08-01
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P.
Reviewer(s): Horne, B.D., Mittermeier, R.A., Philippen, H.-D., Quinn, H.R., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B. & Vogt, R.C
Justification:
Sternotherus carinatus is a widespread, locally abundant species that is not subject to specific significant threats, occurs in an extensive series of protected areas, and as such its future survival does not appear to be a matter of significant concern. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sternotherus carinatus inhabits the southcentral United States, from central Texas through southeastern Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, most of Louisiana and Mississippi to extreme southwestern Alabama (Iverson 1992, Lindeman 2008)
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

Population status and trend data for Sternotherus carinatus is not particularly comprehensive, but anecdotal information indicates that the species is abundant and stable in a variety of locations across its range; the main exception is the population of the Pascagoula river, where a combination of pollution and habitat modification have reduced populations of this and other turtle species (Lindeman 2008).

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Sternotherus carinatus typically inhabits medium to large flowing streams with sand, gravel or cobble bottoms, but also occurs in lakes and swamps. The presence of deadwood, both above water for basking and underwater for retreats, appears to be a significant factor determining habitat suitability. (Lindeman 2008).

Sternotherus carinatus is almost exclusively carnivorous, feeding on aquatic insects, clams, snails and crayfish, with molluscs increasing as a proportion of diet as the animals grow.

Sternotherus carinatus reaches 13-16 cm carapace length (CL), with the record size being 20.9 cm CL. There is little difference in sizes between the sexes.

Animals, apparently of both sexes, reach maturity at 8-12 cm CL at four to eight years of age. Two to three clutches of one to seven eggs per year are typical (Lindeman 2008). Hatchlings measure about 25-28 mm CL and weigh 3-4 g (Iverson 2002).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Hatchlings of Sternotherus carinatus are traded as pets in some numbers, being particularly sought after in East Asia.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Specific populations, particularly in the Pascagoula, are under potential threat from or have actually been impacted by toxic pollutants, deadwood snag removal for navigation purposes, sand and gravel mining, sedimentation, and impoundment. Animals coincidentally caught during fishing may be killed. Some animals, mainly hatchlings, are traded as pets. None of these threats is considered to be sufficiently severe or extensive to threaten the species’ survival for the foreseeable future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Sternotherus carinatus is confirmed or presumed to occur in a substantial number of National Wildlife Refuges, National Preserves, Wildlife Management Areas, and TNC properties throughout its range.

Sternotherus carinatus is considered secure throughout much of its geographic range and no specific conservation actions appear warranted at present (Lindeman 2008).

Studies documenting population status, structure and dynamics, habitat usage, and other ecological information on the species would be desirable.

Citation: van Dijk, P.P. 2013. Sternotherus carinatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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