Spotted turtles are in trouble
The spotted turtle is a small but tough species with the extraordinary ability to adapt to varying climates. Despite their adaptability, spotted turtle populations are declining. Among the major threats they face are human development, the collection of wild turtles for the pet trade, and poaching for overseas food markets.
Human development and subsequent pollution in areas that spotted turtles once called home have degraded their habitat and led to a dramatic reduction in their numbers. Development also leads to habitat fragmentation, dividing turtle habitats by roads or housing developments. In addition to fragmentation, traffic on these roads is the cause of death for many spotted turtles. If you see turtles crossing the road, make sure to give them a brake!
Spotted turtles reach sexual maturity much later in life and lay fewer eggs compared to more common turtle species. This makes adult spotted turtles even more critical to the survival of the species, meaning that taking even one adult from the population can be detrimental.
Wildlife advocates like you can help the spotted turtle by teaching friends and family that it is never okay to take a turtle from the wild. In addition to being knowledgeable about the illegal pet trade, you can also raise awareness about illicit poaching for foreign food markets and the harmful consequences these actions have on wild spotted turtle populations.
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