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August 27, 2009

Save Southern and Midwestern Freshwater Turtles From Harvesting

Please, help the Center for Biological Diversity end all commercial harvest of wild freshwater turtles in Florida and across the South and Midwest by sending a message now.

Here's what's going on: Harvests and exports of wild turtles have skyrocketed recently. Herpetologists are reporting drastic reductions in turtle numbers across a dozen southern and midwestern states, including Florida, and the disappearance of many species, particularly southern map turtles. These turtles are harvested for domestic and international food markets. And they're not even a safe food source: Turtles sold as food are often contaminated with mercury, PCBs, and pesticides.

To help save plummeting turtle populations, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas to ban commercial turtle harvest in public and private waters in 2008; this year we also petitioned Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee, the last states with unrestricted commercial harvest or weak harvest regulations.

Encourage Florida and other states to adopt sensible stewardship of freshwater turtles and propose and finalize harvest restrictions by this summer. Your message will be sent to wildlife and health departments and governors of the remaining states with weak turtle harvest regulations, encouraging them to give these marvelous animals a break and end commercial harvest.

Taking action is easy.

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