Fencing along causeway helps endangered Alabama turtle

Alabama red-bellied turtle (Outdoor Alabama)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An animal expert says fencing erected by the Alabama Department of Transportation is helping to protect an endangered turtle species.

The University of South Alabama herpetologist David Nelson tells AL.com the number of Alabama red-bellied turtles killed on the Mobile Bay Causeway dropped by more than 80 percent after fencing went up alongside it in 2008.

In 2001, Nelson counted 580 Alabama red-bellies that were killed while crossing the causeway. Most of those were females traveling to or from nest sites or hatchlings.

Transportation officials have also put up signs during the turtle’s peak nesting and hatching seasons that encourage drivers to be cautious.

The turtle is also found in Mississippi.

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