News On The Endangered Alabama Red-bellied Turtle

The following is an email that the GCTTS received from the "Save The Alabama Red-bellied Turtle Alliance." I thought it was a good cause so would like to encourage you to send letters to the Alabama officials that need to do something to prevent this turtle from going extinct. Read the Alliance's email and visit their website to download a prepared letter and addresses. Their email as GCTTS received it:

We need your help to save the endangered Alabama red-bellied turtle
from being killed by vehicles on the Mobile Causeway (US 90) in
Alabama. This turtle is a Federally Endangered Species and is
designated as the Official State Reptile of Alabama. The Alabama
red-bellied turtle has one of the smallest species ranges of any
turtle in the world, only occurring in the Mobile-Tensaw, Alabama
delta, making it very vulnerable to extinction.

The Mobile Bay Causeway between Spanish Fort and Mobile, AL was built
across islands and bays at the deltas of the Apalachee, Tensaw, and
Blakeley Rivers. These sandy islands are key nesting sites for the
Alabama red bellied turtle. Each year, gravid females come on shore
to lay eggs and many of these females and their hatchlings are killed
on the highway.

At least 444 endangered turtles have been killed in just 6 years on
this highway! Even though the killing of turtles has been
documented for over 14 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, the Alabama Department of Transportation, and the Alabama
Department of Conservation have done nothing to stop the slaughter.

We need people to write to the agencies responsible and urge them to
spend the money to build a proper fence to solve this problem.

We have set up a web site at www.savetheredbelly.org . Writing
letters to the public officials listed on the web site is the most
important way to help right now. We were hoping that you would be
willing to write a letter to the agencies we have indicated on the
web site. We would also appreciate if you would be so kind as to
circulate our web site address to those that you think would be
willing to write letters.

Thank you for your help.

Save the Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle Alliance
P.O. Box 180891
Tallahassee, FL 32318

ph: (850) 562-3093
fax: (850) 267-4960

www.savetheredbelly.org

Email contacts
general inquiries: alliance@savetheredbelly.org
letters: letters_sent@savetheredbelly.org
membership: members@savetheredbelly.org
media contact: media@savetheredbelly.org
webmaster: webmaster@savetheredbelly.org

Received Response From Alabama Dept of Transportation!!

Yea! All our letters have gotten Alabama's attention! I received this response recently and help is on the way for the Alabama Red-bellied Turtle: (Did anyone else get a response?)

Alabama Dept of Transportation
Ninth Division
Office of Division Engineer
1701 I-65 west Service Rd N
Mobile, AL 36618-1109
251-470-8200
Fax 251-473-3624

Aug 7, 2007

Gulf Coast Turtle etc
Ms Anita Peddicord

Dear Ms Peddicord,

RE: Federally [Endangered] Species
Alabama Red Bellied Turtle

I am writing in reference to your March 15, 2007 correspondence. You will be happy to know that ALDOT solely funded and awarded a fence contract to install the fence you are concerned with. ALDOT worked with the Dept. of Conservation, US Fish & Wildlife (Bruce Porter), the Univ. of Alabama (Dr. Nelson), Nature Conservancy Alabama Coastal Program (Mary Austill Lott), the Mobile Press Register (Bill Finch) and others to determine the exact and best location for the fence. Installation is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks (once underground utilities are located).

Should you have any questions, please call

Sincerely,
R.F. Poiroux, P.E.
Division Engineer