Georgia Journal of Science


The Alabama Map Turtle, found only in Mobile Bay drainages, is state-listed in Georgia as “rare” and has been petitioned for federal listing as “threatened.” Because this species has been poorly studied in Georgia and in the Coosa River especially, a survey was undertaken to determine its status in the Coosa to help inform the federal listing decision. The 2014-2015 survey involved counting basking turtles from a motorboat with the aid of binoculars. The Alabama Map Turtle was the third most abundantly observed turtle species during the survey, preceded by only the Slider and River Cooter. All size/age classes were observed. The species’ abundance and age distribution suggest a healthy, reproductive population in the Georgia portion of this river. It is unlikely that federal listing of the Alabama Map Turtle is warranted based on the results of this study and a 2003 survey of inhabited Alabama streams.


Rebecca Byrd, Greg Greer, Todd Schneider, and Amber Young assisted with surveys. The map of the study area was created by Dylan Severens. David Bechler kindly provided the statistical analyses.