Abstract

Western alligator snapping turtles, Macrochelys temminckii, have experienced population declines throughout most of their distribution. The present study is the first to systematically sample aquatic habitats of western Tennessee to assess the status and distribution of this species within the state. At the 65 sites sampled, we captured 22 individual alligator snapping turtles from 4 sites, including 1 site where juveniles had been reintroduced more than a decade prior. We conclude that M. temminckii occurs at very low densities in western Tennessee, likely due to historical habitat modification (e.g., channelizing rivers or ditching).

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