Western Montana Asked to be on the Lookout for Snapping Turtles
They may not have been trained in the art of the samurai, or have different renaissance artists' names, but they are turtles. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has announced that snapping turtles may be found in western Montana waters.
What is a snapping turtle?
According to the Britannica website
Snapping turtles are noted for their large size and aggressive nature. They are tan to black in colour and have a rough upper shell, a small cross-shaped lower shell, a long tail, and a large head with hooked jaws.
They get the name "snapping turtle" by the way they bite. Using their hooked jaws, they can pierce flesh. The following clip shows just how strong the snapping turtle jaws can be.
Granted, there are different kinds of snapping turtles. So, don't think that a giant snapping turtle may be swimming in your favorite fishing spot. But they can get fairly large even in Montana's cold water. In fact, snapping turtles are native to parts of Montana. The issue is that they are not native to areas west of the Great Divide.
Why is the FWP concerned about snapping turtles?
According to the FWP
Snapping turtles can cause significant harm to native populations of pond-dwelling species like frogs, turtles, snakes, ducks, and fish. Snapping turtles typically end up in waterways outside their native range through illegal releases of animals kept as pets. These releases usually occur at ponds or river access sites located near urban areas and can result in long-term negative impacts.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks are asking anyone who discovers snapping turtles in Western Montana to report them. For a possible sighting in west-central Montana, contact Torrey Ritter at (406) 542-5551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.