Several states work together to increase alligator snapping turtle population

SPRINGFIELD - Steps are being taken by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to protect the state's alligator snapping turtles.

Last week, the department teamed up with Louisiana and Oklahoma to release 97 turtles into southern Illinois creeks in an attempt to revive the species, whose numbers are on the decline.

Staff from the Peoria Zoo and the Illinois Natural History Survey, as well as students from Pontiac Township High School, Whitney M. Young High School, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale helped prepare the turtles for their release.

A State Wildlife Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped fund the multi-state recovery project.  The grant will help cover the costs of tracking and monitoring the radio transmitter-equipped turtles.

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