Snapping Turtles and Map Turtles Included on CITES Appendix
alligator snapping turtle vendors will be subject to new export
regulations beginning June 14. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is including these species in Appendix III of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wildlife and Flora (CITES). This will be the first Appendix
III listing for the United States.
is an international agreement between governments that ensures
the survival of a species is not threatened by trade. Species
included in CITES are listed in three appendices by the protection
level needed. Appendix III species being shipped are required
to have an export permit from their native country. Additionally,
the certificate requires that every specimen be listed at
the species level, halting the practice of combining different
map turtle species into one category.
information on the CITES listing refer to
snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North
America. They are protected by all states, but levels of protection
vary. Louisiana law bans commercial trade of alligator snapping
turtles. Louisiana law also places a one-a-day per boat limit
on alligator snapping turtles taken by recreational fishermen.
Alligator snapping turtles are declining substantially throughout
their range. A major threat is over-collection of turtles
from the wild for human consumption or the pet trade.
are 12 species of map turtles in North America. Several occur
in Louisiana such as the Alabama map turtle, the Pascagoula
map turtle and the false map turtle. Trade in map turtles
has increased rapidly since the 1990s. The demand for the
turtles comes from the international pet industry. Typically,
map turtles are raised on farms in the United States, but
map turtles collected from the wild also find their way into