Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Florida proposes nation's first freshwater turtle harvest ban

More on the near-extinction of US freshwater turtles here.

A softshell turtle in Florida (Photo by Kevin Enge courtesy FWC)

TALLAHASSEE, Florida, March 13, 2009 (ENS) - Florida state wildlife staffers today proposed a draft rule would ban the commercial take or sale of wild freshwater turtles.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff will present the draft rule at the commission meeting in Tallahassee on April 15. The draft rule is a first for any state.

"Staff is proposing a draft rule that represents the most comprehensive set of protections and conservation measures for freshwater turtles in the United States," said Tim Breault, the FWC's director of Habitat and Species Conservation.

"Few places in North America have the rich diversity of turtles that we have here in Florida, and this proposed rule ensures their long-term survival," he said.

The draft rule would prohibit taking turtles from the wild that are listed on Florida's imperiled species list, as well as species that look similar to the imperiled species, which include common snapping turtles and cooters. In addition, the collection of eggs would be prohibited. …

Florida Proposes Nation's First Freshwater Turtle Harvest Ban

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