Large, freshwater alligator snapping turtles( Macrochelys temminckii ) are found in large rivers from Texas to Florida. In some states, they are listed as threatened, and more details about their communities are required.
It can be difficult to savage the species. The largest freshwater turtle in North America, eel snapping turtles you weigh up to 200 pounds. They are completely submerged in the dark, serious water for the majority of their time. The only accurate sampling technique has therefore been baited ring traps. It takes a lot of time and effort to perform this traditional form of sampling.
According to Forest Service scientist Dan Saenz,” standard sampling techniques put the researcher and the tortoise at risk of injury.” These crocodiles have fangs that resemble enormous scissors. To keep everyone safe, handling them calls for a certain amount of bravery and expertise.
Chris Schalk, a researcher for the Saenz and Forest Service, just participated in the study on turtles, which was directed by Stephen F. Austin State University mentor student David Rosenbaum.
The study suggests that alligator snapping turtles are very abundant in Texas, where they are protected by law. For the study, the researchers used traditional hoop trapping to survey 51 rivers and lakes across the state.
The researchers gathered small amounts of water at the sample sites and examined them for climate DNA, or the genetic material that turtles shed while swimming and looking for food. This genetic substance, known as eDNA, may show the existence of a varieties without requiring contact with or observation of the dog.
The eDNA findings showed promise. It was conclusive that there were reptiles in that area of the river or lake whenever eel snapping turtle eDNA was found in a liquid example. But, there were numerous instances where crocodiles were present but were not found using the eDNA method.
The staff will be improving the eDNA techniques over the next two years and looking for a fix for the problems with false negatives. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is funding the project.
According to Schalk,” We are very optimistic that this convincing technique can be improved and used to study alligator snapping turtles in the future.”
In contrast to the common snapping turtle, which can only grow to a weight of 40 weight, alligator-snapping crocodiles are enormous, weighing up to 200 pounds. EDNA is being used by researchers to observe affected turtles because it is more effective and secure for both the experts and the animals. Christopher Schalk, a pictures from the USFS
The researchers discovered an eel snapping turtle in Texas. Snapping turtles are not extreme and will not jump at people unless they are being harassed. Photo taken by the US Forest Service by Christopher Schalk