Ringed sawback and Pearl River map turtles
Dr. Will Selman, Assistant Professor of Biology at Millsaps College, and his students have conducted studies of the Ringed Sawback and Pearl River Map Turtle in the Jackson segment of the Pearl River. "The Pearl River system hosts two unique turtle species: the Ringed Sawback (Graptemys oculifera) and the Pearl Map Turtle (Graptemys pearlensis). Neither of these species can be found anywhere else in the world… only the Pearl River system of Mississippi and Louisiana! The Ringed Sawback was designated as federally threatened in 1986, while the Pearl Map Turtle was petitioned in 2011 to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. Both turtle species are of conservation concern for a number of reasons mainly associated with alterations to their river habitat. Alterations include construction of dams, channelization of rivers, and excess river sedimentation".