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Animal Defenders International : Conservation & Wildlife : Turtles receive widespread protection at CITES

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Animal Defenders International

Turtles receive widespread protection at CITES

Posted: 11 March 2013. Updated: 11 March 2013

Greater protection for a total of 45 turtle species was secured at the CITES meeting on March 8th. China and the US joined forces for the first time to protect 30 species of freshwater box turtles and restrict the trade in eight species of soft-shelled turtles. All south-east Asian freshwater species are now CITES-listed.

The US also teamed up with Vietnam to secure protection for the south-east Asian big-headed turtle, and was successful in getting three North American species: the spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle and the diamondback terrapin CITES-listed.

Trade bans were secured for the Roti Island snake-necked turtle, Indochinese box turtle, Annam leaf turtle, big-headed turtles and the Burmese star tortoise, one of the rarest in the world. And Japan made history by seeking protection for the rare Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle.

China, which is the largest consumer of wild-caught turtles, was commended for its efforts to conserve turtle species, whose populations are severely threatened by hunting and the pet trade.

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