The Alligator Snapping Turtle is the largest fresh water turtle in all of North America. They are found from eastern Texas east to the Florida panhandle, and north to southeastern Kansas, Missouri, southeastern Iowa, wester Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, and eastern Tennessee. This is such a vast area to live in, yet these animals are endangered. Their decline can be attributed to the age of which they reproduce, habitat distruction, and pressure from being over hunted until the late 60's. Now, as a direct result of students, the Alligator Snapping Turtle has a chance for a rebound off of the endangered species list. Due to Operation Endangered Species, classrooms throughout the State of Illinois are now going to be raising juvenile ASTs and then releasing them back to their historic watershed.
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