Monday, August 8, 2011

Help Reform Trade Practices That Kill Turtles

Freshwater turtles are facing increasing, unsustainable commercial harvest in the United States to supply food and medicinal markets in Southeast Asia, as well as the pet industry. Unregulated international trade is contributing to the depletion of America's wild turtle populations -- including rare map turtles that are already at risk of extinction. Removing even a few adults from the wild can cause population crashes for some species of freshwater turtles, so large-scale collection is an added threat for turtle species already suffering from habitat loss, water pollution and road mortality.

Regulation under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is needed to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of native turtle populations in the United States. Once a species is listed under CITES, trade is regulated with permits. Export permits for species listed on CITES Appendix II are issued only if the trade will not be detrimental to the species' survival.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has invited the public to recommend species that should be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend the CITES Appendices. Please take action now by telling the Service that several species of freshwater turtles should be CITES-listed.

Visit to take action now.

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