Demand for meat threatens Iowa’s wild turtles

Giant turtle, Iowa.

Giant turtle, Iowa. Image by Jim Bowen / CC BY 2.0

State wildlife officials in Iowa are proposing a limit on the harvest of its wild turtles due declining populations caused by an increase in demand for meat. The harvest of wild turtles has increased seven-fold in the state from 1987 to 2013, where the spiny, painted and snapping turtles are captured for the Asian food market. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is proposing a complete ban on hunting from the first of January to the 15th of  July, when the four native breeds hatch their young. All other Midwest states, except Missouri, have a similar off-limits season. Read more:

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