Wildlife officials release Alligator Snapping Turtles to help Louisiana population
COLUMBIA, La. - The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has released more than a dozen Alligator Snapping Turtles into the wild to help bolster the species' population in Louisiana.
LDWF officials announced Tuesday that 14 of the reptiles were released into the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area in Caldwell Parish Wednesday, June 26.
The turtles were reared through a head-start program at the Monroe Fish Hatchery. The head-started turtles are much less susceptible to being picked off by predators than wild hatchlings, according to the department.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make a determination in 2020 as to the status of the Alligator Snapping Turtle and if the species should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. Officials are now working to address conservation challenges for the turtle so that it might avoid the need for a federal listing.
Commercial harvest of the Alligator Snapping Turtle has been banned since 2004 in Louisiana, though recreational take is still allowed.
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