(Mirror Daily, United States) Another species gets to be added to the lists of endangered animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently announced that the Arizona mud turtle joins other endangered species on the official act. The announcement was officially released on September 21.
The Arizona mud turtle was proposed for the endangered status years ago, in 1997, but it is only now when specialists were able to draw the authorities attention to the situation. The turtles live in the Sonoran Desert, and as aquatic species, they depend on the existence of water. The intensified drought season and the rising temperatures in recent years stand as major threats to the animals.
By adding them to the list of endangered species, advocates hope to improve the natural conditions in which the animals live, as well as to offer them protection. Specialists intend to make sure that the water supplies are not damaged.
Another thing that the specialists are concerned about is the natural habitat of the Arizona mud turtle. Since the loss of habitat affects the animals, wildlife experts think about strategies to replace or repopulate the former areas.
According to specialists, the Arizona mud turtle is a subspecies of the wider family of the Sonoran mud turtle. Statistics show that, at the moment, there is only one such population on the territory of the United States, and it can be found at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Four other mud turtle populations can be found in the South, in Mexico, more precisely.
Arizona mud turtles are extraordinary creatures, as they managed to develop a strong dependency on water in highly arid areas. Global warming has taken its toll on the little aquatic creatures, as the rising temperatures led to droughts and lack of water. This shows the delicate situation of the turtles and this is why specialists have been insisting on the classification of the Arizona mud turtle as an endangered species for so long.
Arizona mud turtles have different colors, such as brown, yellow and green. Both their bodies and their shells can have these colors. They are diurnal creatures, but they can also be active at night, especially during the monsoon period, which typically occurs in the hottest months of summers (July and August).
Except for the natural threats, there are also human activities which threaten the small Arizona mud turtles. However, the species is known to be quite resistant, hence its survival in the desert, despite their dependency on water. Specialists are optimistic about their odds to be saved.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia
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