Alabama red bellied turtle
About the organism
The Alabama red-bellied cooter or Alabama red-bellied turtle, is native to Alabama. It belongs to the Emydidae turtle family. It is the official reptile of the state of Alabama
Scientific Name and the classification
Name - Pseudemys alabamensis
Class - Pseudemys
Endangered or not?
STATUS: Endangered. Designated the official state reptile by the Alabama Legislature. Listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.
How many are estimated to still be left
There is an estimation of about 580 Alabama red bellied turtle's left
life history and ecology
Nest from April to early August with a peak in July. Female turtles leave their aquatic environment and lay their eggs on dry land. The nests are concentrated in openings or sparsely vegetated areas near levees, river banks or dredge spoil sites. A shallow nest is excavated in generally sandy soil where four to nine eggs are deposited. Young may emerge in fall (September to November) or over-winter until spring (March to April). fish, crows and raccoons are the major nest predators, while alligator and humans are significant predators of the adult turtles. Many adult turtles bear tooth scars on their shells from alligator attacks. Additionally, fire ants have been observed in some nest chambers. Large fishes, snakes, wading birds, and mammals likely feed on the young as well. The red-bellied turtle spends a great deal of time either foraging in vegetation or basking on logs. Quite wary while basking, they will quickly submerge when disturbed. Designated the state reptile by the Alabama Legislature. Listed as endangered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987.
What is being done to help?
ALDOT constructed a 3.4-mile low-barrier fence along both sides of the Mobile Bay Causeway to prevent access by mature females and their hatchlings and is also displaying banners along the fence-line to remind passing motorists of turtle nesting and hatching seasons.