Good news for North Carolina Turtles, from thestate.com
A House subcommittee approved a bill (H.3121) designed to prevent the mass exportation of our turtles for food or the pet trade. The bill allows no more than 10 of certain species of turtles to be taken from the state by any individual, and no more than 20 by that individual in a calendar year. The species covered include yellowbelly, chicken, eastern painted, spiny softshell, Florida softshell, common snapping and box turtles, along with Florida cooters and river cooters.
In recent years, the Asian food trade has gobbled up millions of U.S. turtles. North Carolina enacted restrictions on turtle exports last year, and other Southern states have regulations in the works.
Because turtles don’t reproduce until late in their long lives, their populations don’t rebound quickly like many game animals, said turtle researcher Whit Gibbons. Worse yet, they are easy to trap in large numbers in ponds and rivers