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Protecting Turtles

July 21st, 2009 by flanews

More than 20 species of freshwater turtles are now safe from hunters.

This week the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions ban on turtle hunting took affect. The ban will stop the mass export of Florida turtles to Asian countries. The demand for Florida turtles was growing so much that wildlife experts began to worry about the stability of the states turtle population. Pat Benhke, a spokeswoman with the Commission, said they had to put a stop to turtle hunters before things got out of hand.

We like to keep common species common and we dont want them to go on our imperial species list at all. We want to keep them just as abundant as they are. We are very blessed in Florida to have a very diverse and abundant population of freshwater turtles and we want to keep it that way, said Behnke.

Turtle farmers are exempt from the ban. The farmers will be able to catch a limited number of turtles for breeding purposes.

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