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Western River Cooter…..Making A Comeback

Posted by Pete | Posted in Downloads, News | Posted on 27-11-2019


Published in hesterbooks.com, May 8, 2012:

The Western River Cooter is one of the least known turtles in North America. It lives in the Pecos River drainage system in southeastern New Mexico and portions of West Texas. It’s upper shell is olive to brown with whorls , circles and long furrows of yellowish or light Add Media brown on each of the plates. The head, neck, legs and tail are greenish with yellow lines and scrawls. Broad yellow blotch behind each eye. It can reach up to 16 inches in size. It is listed as threatened with the primary threats being recreationists and anglers who use them for target practice. Also they are used as bait for other species. The habitat for the Western River Cooter is streams with deep pools, clear water and rocky or sandy bottoms. It feeds on plants and aquatic insects. The Western River Cooter lays between 7 and 19 eggs in sandy soil that hatch out in August and September. Under favorable conditions the Western River Cooter can live up to 40 years.

New Mexico Wildlife,  winter 2018, Tale of the Cooter by Virginia “Ginny’ Seamster, Ph.D

She reported that based on data from the past two years, this turtle is relatively abundant at two survey areas. There are many hatchlings, which is potentially good news in terms of the sustainability of the population on the Black River. …..She reports that multiple years of data is needed to determine real success in the real growth of the species.

Exciting news from the 2018 survey performed by Dr. Ivana Mali and students from Eastern New Mexico University, funded by Share With Wildlife program, determined that not only was the Western River Cooters doing well, but that the cooters had been sighted as far north as Chaves County north of Brantley Dam on the Pecos River  and had confirmed the sighting.

The Western Cooter is currently undergoing review by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife to determine whether it should be listed as threatened or endangered at the federal level reports Ginny Seamster.

Share With Wildlife is a New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish program initiated in 1981 that depends on donations from the public. It’s mission is to help those species that do not receive funding from any other source. To learn more, visit: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/share-with-wildlife/

Visit New Mexico….



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