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May 10, 2022 Comments Off on Turtle sightings sought Nature

Turtle sightings sought

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking for help from outdoors enthusiasts to report western chicken turtles they may find.

Game and Fish is interested in learning locations from anyone who sees a western chicken turtle. This will help develop a conservation management plan for the species that includes all portions of the state where they are known to exist. The public can contribute by submitting photos with location information to Kelly Irwin, Game and Fish herpetologist, at or by texting 501-539-0431.

Arkansas is home to 14 species of aquatic turtles, most of which are common, wide-ranging species. The western chicken turtle is the least common of all Arkansas turtle species. It is active March through July and lives in shallow wetlands with aquatic vegetation. Sometimes confused with the more abundant red-eared slider, western chicken turtles are identified by having only one solid yellow bar across their front legs and vertical stripes along their rumps under the shell. Red-eared sliders have multiple pinstripes down their front legs and oval-shaped blotches along their rear quarters.