From the upper Midwest, all the way to Florida, Louisiana and Texas, alligator snapping turtles used to be abundant in U.S. rivers leading into the Gulf of Mexico. But polluted waterways and over-active food and pet industries have driven this fascinating creature to the brink of extinction. In fact, some state populations of alligator snapping turtles have decreased by up to 95 percent already.
Despite these shocking facts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is failing to protect the alligator snapping turtle and has yet to put it on the list of endangered species. Being formally recognized as endangered would not only place protections on the turtles themselves, but also on their habitat. It would also require the Fish and Wildlife Service to create a species recovery plan, ensuring that snapping alligator turtles can thrive in our waters once again.
These special turtles can live for nearly 100 years and grow to up to 200 pounds. Their absence from the American landscape would be a horrifyingly deep scar stretching for thousands of miles. We must act now, before it is too late. We must put the alligator snapping turtle on the list of endangered species.
Photo credit: Garry Tucker, USFWS
Dear Director Ashe,
The absence of alligator snapping turtles from the American landscape would be a horrifyingly deep scar stretching for thousands of miles. We must act now, before it is too late.
Please list the alligator snapping turtle as endangered and start their recovery today.