Wisconsin Turtle Troubles…

Posted on July 2, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Turtle  regulations aim to minimize the decline of turtle populations

MADISON – Wisconsin implemented updated turtle regulations in 1998 in response to declining turtle populations, and a decade later, state biologists says these laws are even more important for the state’s turtle populations today.

Wood Turtle
Wisconsin has
11 different species of turtles, two of which – the wood turtle and Blanding’s turtles — are threatened species and one – the ornate box turtle — that is endangered.

Turtle harvest regulations can be found in the current Wisconsin Spearing and Netting Regulations. A write-up on all amphibian and reptile regulations including turtles (pdf) is available on the DNR Web site.

The turtle harvest season opens July 15 in Wisconsin, and state officials are emphasizing that populations of turtles in Wisconsin are continuing to decline, so people need to follow harvest rules strictly. The regulations are designed to allow for limited harvest during the open season.

“Turtle populations recover very slowly when adult mortality rates exceed 1 to 2 percent,” says Bob Hay, a herpetologist, or cold-blooded species specialist, with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Turtles are long-lived creatures under good conditions, but in today’s world, individuals turtles do not have the same opportunities to reach maturity and live a long life. The turtle regulations are designed to help minimize the loss of breeding adults and to provide the opportunity for more of the younger turtles to reach breeding age.”

The regulations were put in effect because of concerns with overharvest, but Hay notes there are other factors influencing turtle populations that are collectively causing significant concern for turtles.

“It takes 17 to 20 years or more for Blanding’s turtles to reach maturity, so a lot can change to render their upland habitat unsuitable or there can be more obstacles constructed that make getting safely to their nesting sites more difficult,” he says.

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Wisconsin Turtle Troubles…

Posted on July 2, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Turtle  regulations aim to minimize the decline of turtle populations

MADISON – Wisconsin implemented updated turtle regulations in 1998 in response to declining turtle populations, and a decade later, state biologists says these laws are even more important for the state’s turtle populations today.

Wood Turtle
Wisconsin has
11 different species of turtles, two of which – the wood turtle and Blanding’s turtles — are threatened species and one – the ornate box turtle — that is endangered.

Turtle harvest regulations can be found in the current Wisconsin Spearing and Netting Regulations. A write-up on all amphibian and reptile regulations including turtles (pdf) is available on the DNR Web site.

The turtle harvest season opens July 15 in Wisconsin, and state officials are emphasizing that populations of turtles in Wisconsin are continuing to decline, so people need to follow harvest rules strictly. The regulations are designed to allow for limited harvest during the open season.

“Turtle populations recover very slowly when adult mortality rates exceed 1 to 2 percent,” says Bob Hay, a herpetologist, or cold-blooded species specialist, with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Turtles are long-lived creatures under good conditions, but in today’s world, individuals turtles do not have the same opportunities to reach maturity and live a long life. The turtle regulations are designed to help minimize the loss of breeding adults and to provide the opportunity for more of the younger turtles to reach breeding age.”

The regulations were put in effect because of concerns with overharvest, but Hay notes there are other factors influencing turtle populations that are collectively causing significant concern for turtles.

“It takes 17 to 20 years or more for Blanding’s turtles to reach maturity, so a lot can change to render their upland habitat unsuitable or there can be more obstacles constructed that make getting safely to their nesting sites more difficult,” he says.

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