Freshwater turtle conservation in Texas: harvest effects and efficacy of the current management regime

  • Published source details Brown D.J., Farallo V.R., Dixon J.R., Baccus J.T., Simpson T.R. & Forstner M.R.J. (2011) Freshwater turtle conservation in Texas: harvest effects and efficacy of the current management regime. Journal of Wildlife Management, 75, 486-494.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Legally protect reptile species

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Legally protect reptile species

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2008–2009 of freshwater sites in Texas, USA (Brown et al. 2011) found that prohibiting freshwater turtle harvesting in public water bodies did not increase turtle abundance but did increase the size of Texas spiny softshell turtles Apalone spinifera and female red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta compared to unprotected water bodies. One–two years after protections were introduced, red-eared slider and Texas spiny softshell turtle abundance was similar in protected waterbodies (slider: 0.15; softshell: 0.01 turtles/trap day) compared to unprotected waterbodies (slider: 0.12; softshell: 0.05 turtles/trap day). Both male and female Texas spiny softshells were longer in protected waterbodies (male: 171 mm; female: 352 mm) than unprotected waterbodies (male: 151 mm; female: 276 mm). Female red-eared sliders were longer on average in protected waterbodies (222 mm) than unprotected waterbodies (210 mm), whereas males were not (protected: 161 mm; unprotected: 163 mm). From 2007, commercial harvest of freshwater turtles was prohibited in public waterbodies (‘protected’) but unregulated in private waterbodies (‘unprotected’). Turtles were monitored using baited hoop nets in 12 public and 48 private waterbodies spread across three counties (17–22 sites/county > 1 km apart; 5,245 trap days) in May–June 2008 and May–July 2009. Harvest levels were high in two counties and low in one county (see original paper for details). Turtles were marked and carapace lengths were measured.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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