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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
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Action timeline

March 27, 2008 – The Center filed emergency petitions with Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas requesting a complete ban on commercial harvest of freshwater turtles in an effort to end unsustainable harvest and stop the export of contaminated turtles to international food markets.

April 16, 2009 – In response to the Center’s March 2008 emergency petition, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission banned most commercial harvest of wild freshwater turtles from both public and private waters.

April 20, 2010 – The Center filed its petition to list 404 aquatic species from the southeastern United States under the Endangered Species Act, including the Barbour’s map turtle.

August 15, 2011 – The Center filed a petition and activated our membership to request protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for 20 species of native freshwater turtles — the alligator snapping turtle, spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle, diamondback terrapin, three species of soft-shell turtles and 13 species of map turtles, including Barbour’s.

September 27, 2011 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued positive 90-day findings under the Endangered Species Act for 374 of the 404 petitioned aquatic species, including Barbour’s.

January 25, 2012 – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board of Directors unanimously approved its first-ever state rules regulating the commercial collection of wild freshwater turtles.

April 2012 – The Alabama conservation advisory board voted unanimously to approve emergency regulations banning all commercial collection and killing of wild turtles and their eggs in public and private waters.

April 10, 2012 – In response to the Center’s 2011 petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it may propose 17 species of U.S. freshwater turtles – including the Barbour’s map turtle – for CITES protection.

May 22, 2012 – The Center sent its notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to make a timely decision on whether to protect the Barbour’s map turtle and 24 other southeastern species of amphibians and reptiles.

Photo courtesy of USGS