PERSONNEL IN THE AIR FORCE, ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLES ARE PRETTY SCARY LOOKING CREATURES, BUT THEY’RE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ALABAMA ECOSYSTEM, AND THEY MAY SOON BE LISTED AS A THREATENED SPECIES. WVTM 13 S LISA CRANE IS LIVE AT THE CAHABA RIVER. LISA, I DIDN’T REALIZE THERE WERE ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLES IN THE CAHABA. YEAH, UNTIL RECENTLY, BIOLOGISTS DIDN’T REALIZE THAT EITHER. A BIOLOGY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT TALLADEGA COLLEGE HAS BEEN STUDYING THESE SNAPPING TURTLES SINCE 2018, AND HIS RESEARCH IS GOING TO BE USED TO HELP DETERMINE IF THIS SPECIES SHOULD BE DECLARED THREATENED OR NOT. MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE EXCITED TO RUN INTO THIS IN THE CAHABA RIVER, BUT DOCTOR ANDY COLEMAN HAS SPENT THE LAST SIX YEARS LOOKING FOR ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLES AND WAS SURPRISED HE FOUND THEM IN THE CAHABA IN BIRMINGHAM. BECAUSE IT WASN’T IN THE ALLIGATOR SNAPPERS DOCUMENTED RANGE. NOW, DOCTOR COLEMAN IS A REGULAR AT THE RIVER SETTING TRAPS FOR THE TURTLES. YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING THEM BECAUSE THEY CAN REMOVE DIGITS. HE’S A PRO AT HANDLING THESE MASSIVE TURTLES. HE TAGS THEM, WEIGHS AND MEASURES THEM, THEN RELEASES THEM BACK WHERE HE FOUND THEM. HE SAYS HIS POPULATION RESEARCH WILL BE USED TO HELP DETERMINE IF THE SPECIES IS THREATENED. I AM REALLY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO ADD TO THE KNOWLEDGE BASE FOR THIS SPECIES AND SAY, HEY, IN BIRMINGHAM WE HAVE A SOMEWHAT VIABLE POPULATION THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR AND AND FIGURE OUT WHERE ELSE THEY ARE. IF IT’S A VIABLE POPULATION HERE, BUT THEY’VE DISAPPEARED IN OTHER AREAS. SO WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO PROTECT THESE BEASTS? DOCTOR COLEMAN SAYS THEY’RE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ECOSYSTEM. THEY’RE APEX PREDATORS. THEY HANG OUT ON THE RIVER BOTTOM WITH THEIR MOUTH OPEN. MOVING PART OF THEIR TONGUE LIKE BAIT TO LURE IN PREY THAT KEEPS OTHER SPECIES FROM OVERPOPULATING. AND THEY HAVE A ROLE IN PLANTING VEGETATION AS WELL. WE THINK OF THEM AS STRICTLY CARNIVORES, BUT THEY’RE ACTUALLY THEY EAT A LOT OF PLANT MATERIAL, AND THEY CAN DISTRIBUTE SEEDS IN DIFFERENT HABITATS AND HELP, UH, MAKE SURE THAT THAT RIPARIAN VEGETATION, WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT, CAN SUSTAIN ITSELF. NOW, I ASKED DOCTOR COLEMAN WHY THE ALLIGATOR SNAPPING POPULATION HAS DWINDLED SO SIGNIFICANTLY. AND HE SAYS IN THE PAST, THESE TURTLES WERE OVERHARVESTED FOR THEIR MEAT. TURTLE SOUP STILL PRETTY COMMONLY EATEN IN LOUISIANA. NOT SO MUCH HERE ANYMORE. AND THAT MEAT NOW, WHEN IT IS USED MOSTLY COMES FROM FARM RAISED

Alligator snapping turtles may quickly be listed as endangered

Alligator snapping turtles are scary-looking creatures. But they’re an necessary a part of the Alabama ecosystem, they usually might quickly be listed as a threatened species. Until lately, biologists did not know alligator snappers lived within the Cahaba River in Alabama. A biology assistant professor from Talladega College has been learning this species since 2018, and his analysis can be used to find out if the alligator snapper needs to be listed as a threatened species.Not many individuals can be excited to run into an alligator snapping turtle within the Cahaba River. But Dr. Andy Coleman has spent the final six years in search of alligator snapping turtles and was shocked he discovered them within the Cahaba in Birmingham as a result of it wasn’t within the alligator snapper’s documented vary. Now Coleman is a daily on the river, setting traps for the turtles.“You clearly should watch out when dealing with them as a result of they’ll take away digits,” Coleman stated. He’s a professional at dealing with the huge turtles. He tags them, weighs and measures them and releases them again the place he discovered them. He says his inhabitants analysis can be used to assist decide if the species needs to be listed as threatened.“I’m actually excited to have the ability to add to the information base for the species and say, hey, in Birmingham, we have now a considerably viable inhabitants that we have to proceed to watch and work out the place else they’re,” Coleman stated.The alligator snapping turtle is the biggest freshwater turtle on the earth, with adults reaching 150 to 175 kilos, in line with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.It’s a viable inhabitants within the Cahaba, however they’ve disappeared in different areas. So why is it necessary to guard these beasts? Coleman says they’re an necessary a part of the ecosystem.They’re apex predators, they hang around on river bottoms, with their mouth open, shifting a part of their tongue like bait to lure in prey. That retains different species from overpopulating. And they’ve a job in planting vegetation as effectively.“We consider them as strictly carnivores, however they’re really, they eat a whole lot of plant materials, they usually can distribute seeds in several habitats and assist ensure that that riparian vegetation, which is so necessary, can maintain itself,” Coleman stated.Coleman says prior to now, the turtles had been overharvested for his or her meat, which is why their inhabitants has dwindled.

Alligator snapping turtles are scary-looking creatures. But they’re an necessary a part of the Alabama ecosystem, they usually might quickly be listed as a threatened species. Until lately, biologists did not know alligator snappers lived within the Cahaba River in Alabama.

A biology assistant professor from Talladega College has been learning this species since 2018, and his analysis can be used to find out if the alligator snapper needs to be listed as a threatened species.

Not many individuals can be excited to run into an alligator snapping turtle within the Cahaba River. But Dr. Andy Coleman has spent the final six years in search of alligator snapping turtles and was shocked he discovered them within the Cahaba in Birmingham as a result of it wasn’t within the alligator snapper’s documented vary. Now Coleman is a daily on the river, setting traps for the turtles.

“You clearly should watch out when dealing with them as a result of they’ll take away digits,” Coleman stated.

He’s a professional at dealing with the huge turtles. He tags them, weighs and measures them and releases them again the place he discovered them. He says his inhabitants analysis can be used to assist decide if the species needs to be listed as threatened.

“I’m actually excited to have the ability to add to the information base for the species and say, hey, in Birmingham, we have now a considerably viable inhabitants that we have to proceed to watch and work out the place else they’re,” Coleman stated.

The alligator snapping turtle is the biggest freshwater turtle on the earth, with adults reaching 150 to 175 kilos, according to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

It’s a viable inhabitants within the Cahaba, however they’ve disappeared in different areas. So why is it necessary to guard these beasts? Coleman says they’re an necessary a part of the ecosystem.

They’re apex predators, they hang around on river bottoms, with their mouth open, shifting a part of their tongue like bait to lure in prey. That retains different species from overpopulating. And they’ve a job in planting vegetation as effectively.

“We consider them as strictly carnivores, however they’re really, they eat a whole lot of plant materials, they usually can distribute seeds in several habitats and assist ensure that that riparian vegetation, which is so necessary, can maintain itself,” Coleman stated.

Coleman says prior to now, the turtles had been overharvested for his or her meat, which is why their inhabitants has dwindled.