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Macrochelys temminckii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA TESTUDINES CHELYDRIDAE

Scientific Name: Macrochelys temminckii
Species Authority: (Troost in Harlan, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Alligator Snapping Turtle
Synonym(s):
Chelonura temminckii Troost in Harlan, 1835
Macroclemys temminckii (Troost in Harlan, 1835)
Taxonomic Notes: Appeared in IUCN Red Lists prior to 2007 under the name Macroclemys temminckii. Was also treated by some authors under the generic name Macroclemmys.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A1cd ver 2.3
Year Published: 1996
Date Assessed: 1996-08-01
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group
History:
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Alligator Snapping Turtle is endemic to the US occurring in rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species range is greater than 10,000 km² but population densities are likely to be low throughout this area (Ewert 1997), It is naturally rare in northern extremes of its range. Klemens and Behler (1997) report that there is good anecdotal evidence that the species is undergoing a long-term, non cyclical decline throughout much of its range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Some natural habitat has been drained and replaced by agriculture in recent years, however, actual habitat loss, in terms of loss of rivers and their banks, may be small (Ewert 1997). The turtle has been found in reservoirs throughout their range and dyking of rivers to create winter waterfowl refuges has increased potential habitat in Arkansas and the lower Mississippi Valley and may offset some of the degraded habitat (Ewert 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats include habitat alteration; exploitation by trappers for a large domestic market and a growing international market for its meat; pollution and pesticide accumulation (Holt and Tolson 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Take is prohibited in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, but allowed with the necessary permit in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
It is listed on CITES Appendix III (United States of America).

Citation: Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group 1996. Macrochelys temminckii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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