Sea turtle conservation as a blueprint for freshwater turtles in the eastern U.S.

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Denise Nicole Blough


With turtles and tortoises being one of the most threatened taxa on the planet, dire conservation action is needed. As a global hotspot for turtles — with over 85 species and subspecies — the U.S. can play a major role in curbing turtle extinction. It has already done so for its six species of sea turtles, which experienced dramatic declines over the 19th and 20th centuries due to human exploitation. Since the 1970s, the U.S. has implemented strong federal and international protections to help sea turtle populations rebound. Yet freshwater and terrestrial turtles and tortoises — the vast majority of U.S. chelonians — enjoy far less oversight, with variable state laws, areas that continue to allow harvest, and scant monitoring efforts. This paper examines gaps in management for sea turtles and freshwater turtles and tortoises in the eastern U.S. and considers how sea turtle conservation could be a model for other turtles and tortoises moving forward.



Education, Law, Life Sciences, Other Life Sciences


chelonian, conservation, freshwater turtles, herpetology, pet trade, sea turtle, sea turtles, terrestrial turtles, tortoise, tortoises, turtle, turtle conservation, turtle harvest, turtles, turtle trade, wildlife trafficking


Published: 2022-06-24 01:57


CC-BY Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 International