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Status of Listed Species and Recovery Plan Development

Ringed Sawback Turtle

Grapternys oculifera -- Threatened


JPG-Ringed Sawback Turtle     GIF-Occurrence map

Current Status:

The ringed sawback turtle remains vulnerable to habitat modification by flood control activities and commercial collecting. Additionally, there is evidence of adverse impacts on water quality below Ross Barnett Reservoir, likely from non-point sources in the city of Jackson. Construction of a reservoir in the upper Pearl River near Edinburg is under consideration by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and would likely have a negative impact on the ringed sawback turtle.


The turtle's population in five river stretches has been estimated by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks using a mark and recapture study conducted over a 3-year period. The population was estimated to range from 800 to fewer than 60 individuals per kilometer, depending upon the particular river stretch. Information on sex ratios, growth rates, and age at maturity was also gathered by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Current Recovery Needs:

Continued population monitoring will be needed, as well as life-history research. Protection of river stretches containing ringed sawback turtle populations is needed.


Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks: This State agency has taken the lead in estimating population levels of the ringed sawback turtle, as well as gathering biological information on the species.

Recovery Plan Status:

Plan approved 4/8/88.

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