On August 26, 2021, a crew from Nashville Zoo, Tennessee Wildlife Sources Company (TWRA), and the Cumberland River Aquatic Heart efficiently launched 30 alligator snapping turtles into the waters close to Wolf River in West Tennessee.
16 of the 30 alligator snapping turtles launched had been from Nashville Zoo’s headstart program. These turtles weighed starting from just below a kilogram to 2 and a half kilograms previous to launch. Every turtle was given a novel particular person quantity earlier than launch to assist monitor every animals’ progress over time for future actions and continued conservation analysis. Katie Gregory, Nashville Zoo Herpetology Keeper, stated she is pleased with this undertaking as a result of, “we had been in a position to see all our work come to fruition from begin to end and truly be those to place the turtles within the water for launch.” This conservation effort allowed our crew to get an in-depth have a look at this distinctive species and observe which weight-reduction plan, lighting, and environments are optimum for these turtles to thrive.
In 2016, we obtained a four-year, $40,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and TWRA to gather eggs after which increase alligator snapping turtles till they had been at a measurement match for launch. A bunch of hatchling turtles was shipped to us from the Tishomingo Nationwide Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma to begin Nashville Zoo’s headstart program for alligator snapping turtles in our Aquatic Conservation Heart. Nashville Zoo was liable for elevating these hatchlings till they had been a big sufficient measurement to not be predated within the wild as soon as launched.
Concerning the Turtles
Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) are the most important freshwater turtles in North America and are generally present in rivers, lakes and wetlands. They’re recognizable by their spiky shells which have three pointed ridges that run from head to tail. Due to range-wide declines, the USFWS might be going by way of a proper overview course of to find out if alligator snapping turtles needs to be added to the endangered species record inside the subsequent 12 months. The Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies this species as susceptible on account of present threats that embrace habitat destruction, egg predation and low survival of infants as they’re meals for a lot of species.
Keep tuned for updates on our alligator snapping turtles through our social media channels!