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.”
Learn more about our work to save native freshwater turtles.
Contact: Elise Bennett
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Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of common snapping turtle by Dakota L.