ALIVE REWARD: 500,000,000
Alabama Red Belly Turtle
You may see the adult turtles are up to 1 foot in length. Females are slightly larger with a carapace (which is their upper shell) length going up to 13 inches. The carapace color may be green and dark brown or black with yellow, orange, or red vertical markings on the sides. The plastron ( the under shell) may be pale yellow or red and sometimes dark markings. Colors and markings are usually more darker in young turtles
The Mobile Causeway between Spanish Fort and Mobile, AL was built across islands and bays on the deltas of the Apalachee, Tensaw and Blakeley Rivers. These islands are important nesting sites for the Alabama red bellied turtle. Every year, females come on shore to lay eggs by US 90. Many of these females and their babies are killed on the highway. Dr. James Dobie from Auburn University first reported the road mortality problem in the early 1990’s to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation.
Twenty years ago, the Alabama red-bellied turtle was listed an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unmitigated road mortality is the major threat to its survival. It was designated as the official reptile of Alabama in 1990. Very little studies have been done on the Alabama red bellied turtle, and therefore little is known about its life history. Future studies are necessary before successful management of the turtle can be accomplished.