Tuesday June 7, 2022

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon wildlife officials want state residents to help with a slow — yet snappy — issue: invasive snapping turtles. The beaked critters have been found in a number of freshwater habitats.

Snapping turtles are more at home in the eastern United States. It’s believed several came to Oregon decades ago as part of the exotic pet trade, abandoned in the wild by their owners.

Susan Barnes of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says snapping turtles have been found in the Willamette, Umpqua, Rogue, Clackamas, Columbia, and Tualatin river systems.

“Snapping turtles are omnivores,” Barnes told KLCC. “They will eat anything they can fit into their mouths.

“They will directly prey upon amphibians, snakes, waterfowl, little turtles, potentially. They’re competing with our native critters, fish and wildlife, for food resources.”

ODFW officials encourage people to report snapping turtles in the wild, and capture them if they’re able and willing. Females this time of year are on land, trying to make nests for their eggs.

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