Status and distribution of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma

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Title: Status and distribution of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma
Author: Riedle, J. Daren; Shipman, Paul; Fox, Stanley; Leslie, David Jr.
Abstract: Although historic records of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, show a past distribution throughout eastern Oklahoma, little is known about the current status and distribution of this species in the state. In 1997, surveys were initiated to identify extant populations of M. temminckii and assess their relative densities and viability. We surveyed 67 sites in 15 counties, with a total effort of 1,085 net nights. A total of 63 M. temminckii was captured at 11 sites, which are only in the southeastern quarter of the state and occur only in protected or isolated locations. Because of this apparent decrease of the range of this species in Oklahoma and because so few sites exhibited capture rates high enough to suggest possible healthy populations, we conclude that dramatic population declines of M. temminckii have taken place in Oklahoma. Possible reasons for these declines include overharvest and habitat alteration.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/2523
Publishers URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1894/0038-4909(2005)050<0079:SADOTA>2.0.CO;2
Date: 2005-03

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