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The Pascagoula map turtle, Graptemys gibbonsi (Family Emydidae), is a large aquatic species endemic to the Pascagoula and Pearl River drainages of Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. It was previously considered part of the composite species G. pulchra. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced, with adult females (carapace length to 295 mm) attaining more than twice the size of adult males (to 141 mm). Although the species is locally abundant, populations are threatened by habitat destruction, commercial collecting, and target practice by unethical people who shoot basking turtles. The current IUCN Red List status is Lower Risk/Near Threatened, but the status should be re-examined due to recent surveys indicating population declines or the disappearance of the species from previously documented localities. In addition, genetic and pattern differences between populations in the Pearl and Pascagoula rivers suggest that the two entities should be managed separately to protect significant biodiversity.


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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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