Turtle may soon be named threatened species in Michigan
We're worried about the eastern box turtle.
What's happening: Michigan's only true land turtle — found mostly in western and south-central Michigan, plus Oakland and Washtenaw counties — may soon be dubbed a threatened species by the state.
- The Department of Natural Resources is proposing changes to its list of legally protected endangered and threatened species. It's the sixth update since 1974.
Zoom in: Experts also want to reclassify the copper-bellied water snake and long-eared owl as endangered, among others.
- In good news, they want to down-list peregrine falcons from endangered to merely threatened.
Be smart: Plants and animals designated "endangered" are rare and could soon become extinct. "Threatened" species are "likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future," the EPA says.
Of note: Eastern box turtles are common in the U.S., but in Michigan they've been on the decline for 20 years, per the National Wildlife Federation.
- Reasons include habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, DNR endangered species specialist Jennifer Kleitch tells Axios in an email.
What's next: The public can weigh in on the proposed changes, viewable here, through Sept. 30.
More Detroit stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.