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snapping turtles


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Posted by Darren on July 10, 2002 at 15:52:04:

Why is it that here in NJ its illegal to take ANY reptile from the wild but it is legal to take common snapping turtles with a fishing license? "Snapping Turtles, Bull Frogs and Green Frogs Any person who has a fishing license or is entitled to fish without a license may take snapping turtles, bull frogs and green frogs by means of spears, hooks, dip nets not more than 24 inches in diameter, traps or by hand. The use of set lines is prohibited. The open season for taking of snapping turtles shall extend from January 1, 2001 through April 30, 2001 and from June 16, 2001 through April 30, 2002. The open season for the taking of bull frogs and green frogs shall be from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2001 and from July 1, 2001 through March 31, 2002. The daily limit for snapping turtles is 3. The daily limit for bull frogs and green frogs is 15 in total. Snapping turtles, bull frogs and green frogs may be taken in numbers greater than the daily limit under special permit issued by the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife at its discretion (see p.3)."
Although NJ does have an abundance of snapping turtles, its questionable whether they can withstand hunting pressures. It takes a long time for snappers to reproduce and grow to adult size (sometimes 50 years!). Since the snapper population already has to contend with predators, egg-stealers, and turtle "roadkill" wouldn't it be a good idea to let these 250 million year old creatures be and ban snapping turtle collection? Snappers play a major role in the ecosystem. They are secretive animals that will normally not bit unless picked up or provoked. Lastly, turtles, unlike fish, can feel pain and there is no humane way to kill a turtle without drugs.


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