NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing threatened status for alligator snapping turtles — huge, spike-shelled beasts that lurk at the bottom of lakes, luring prey to their mouths by extending a wormlike lure.
Every state in their range now protects them, but the lingering effects of catching the reptiles for turtle soup are among reasons their numbers are now so low.
They once were found in Kansas and Indiana, but their territory now spans 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
The federal agency on Monday posted a preview of a Federal Register notice planned Tuesday.