The Big Turtle Year: Update #14

Species #44: Suwannee alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis
Location: Suwannee River Drainage in south-central Georgia
Date: 27 September 2017
Post by George L. Heinrich

After a delay due to six weeks of teaching five consecutive summer nature camps, attending the Turtle Survival Alliance’s annual conference, recovering from a post-conference flu, and surviving two hurricanes, the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust’s yearlong conservation education project, The Big Turtle Year (TBTY), is back on the road. In late September, I joined Dirk Stevenson (Altamaha Environmental Consulting) for three days of fieldwork searching for turtles in south-central Georgia. Dirk is an independent biologist with considerable field experience in the southeastern United States and although we have known each other for years, it was only our first time herping together. Ben Stegenga (The Orianne Society) and Andy Day (independent environmental consultant) also joined us in our effort to further document the turtle diversity of the United States. This trip produced species #44 for TBTY, an adult Suwannee alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis). Please click on the links below for the rest of the story.  

www.georgiawildlife.wordpress.com

www.savannahnow.com

 George L. Heinrich holding species #44, an adult Suwannee alligator snapping turtle ( Macrochelys   suwanniensis ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by Dirk Stevenson.

George L. Heinrich holding species #44, an adult Suwannee alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by Dirk Stevenson.

 Andy Day (independent environmental consultant) with adult Suwannee alligator snapping turtle ( Macrochelys   suwanniensis ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Andy Day (independent environmental consultant) with adult Suwannee alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 George L. Heinrich photographing an adult gopher tortoise ( Gopherus   polyphemus ) in the uplands of south-central Georgia. Photograph by Dirk Stevenson.

George L. Heinrich photographing an adult gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in the uplands of south-central Georgia. Photograph by Dirk Stevenson.

 Adult gopher tortoise ( Gopherus   polyphemus ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Adult gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 Dirk Stevenson (Altamaha Environmental Consulting) with a large adult male eastern indigo snake ( Drymarchon   couperi ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Dirk Stevenson (Altamaha Environmental Consulting) with a large adult male eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 Dirk Stevenson (Altamaha Environmental Consulting) searching for a chicken turtle ( Deirochelys   reticularia ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Dirk Stevenson (Altamaha Environmental Consulting) searching for a chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 Ben Stegenga (The Orianne Society) holding an adult Florida softshell turtle ( Apalone   ferox ) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Ben Stegenga (The Orianne Society) holding an adult Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox) in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 Adult Florida softshell turtle ( Apalone   ferox ) captured in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

Adult Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox) captured in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

 John Jensen (Georgia Department of Natural Resources) examining a common slider ( Trachemys   scripta ) captured in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.

John Jensen (Georgia Department of Natural Resources) examining a common slider (Trachemys scripta) captured in south-central Georgia. Photograph by George L. Heinrich.