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Common snapping turtle

Arkansas Moves Toward Ban on Unlimited Commercial Trapping of Wild Turtles

Thousands Have Been Caught, Sold From State Waters

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— In response to a petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and several Arkansas-based environmental organizations, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has agreed to consider ending unlimited commercial collection of the state’s wild freshwater turtles.

Under current law, trappers can legally collect unlimited numbers of 14 types of turtle to sell domestically or export to foreign food, pet and medicinal markets. Harvest records show thousands of turtles were caught and sold in Arkansas from 2014 to 2016.

“Arkansas’ turtles belong in the wild, not in shipping containers,” said Elise Bennett, a Center attorney dedicated to protecting rare reptiles and amphibians. “I’m hopeful officials will move forward with a ban to ensure the Natural State will always have its beautiful diversity of turtles.”

Read more.

Learn more about our work to save native freshwater turtles.

Contact: Elise Bennett

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Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: Jim Cronin, Media Specialist jcronin@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 283-5474 ext. 411
Climate Change, Fracking, California Oil and Gas: Rebecca Fuoco, Media Specialist – rfuoco@biologicaldiversity.org, (213) 785-5400 ext. 109
Public lands, National Monuments and Borderlands: Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist – mkreinhart@biologicaldiversity.org, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist – sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist – aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569
Population, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Endangered Species Condoms: Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist –  jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 345-5726

Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316
Mike Stark, Communications Director, mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos, rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of common snapping turtle by Dakota L.