NANFA-L-- OTfwd Collecting eastern box turtles from the wild in Indiana will soon be illel

Subject: NANFA-L-- OTfwd Collecting eastern box turtles from the wild in Indiana will soon be illel
IndyEsox at
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 19:13:49 CDT

Collecting eastern box turtles from the wild in Indiana will soon be

An Indiana law, effective October 23, 2004, prohibits the collection of
eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) or their parts from the wild in
Indiana. Individuals who currently possess an eastern box turtle, a
subspecies, or their parts will need to apply for the new box turtle
possession permit. There is no cost for the permit.

The eastern box turtle is tottering between maintaining stable populations
and becoming endangered. "Prohibiting the taking of the eastern box turtle
in Indiana is one of the best ways that we can help protect this species,"
said State Herpetologist, Zack Walker.

Current studies reveal that male eastern box turtles must hear or see a
female before the mating process will even begin. Low animal numbers in
populations prevent adequate contact between males and females.
Additionally, we now know that box turtles have a homing instinct. Turtles
displaced by humans will instinctively attempt to return to their home
habitat, often times forcing them to travel through unsafe conditions.

Past collection has already harmed many box turtle populations. The loss of
habitat and an increasing number of roads through their habitat also
contribute to their decline. Walker reports, "We now are aware of how
detrimental incidental collection and displacement is to the population and
it is essential that it does not continue as it has in the past."

The eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a small to medium-sized
turtle with a domed shell. The top of the turtle's shell is variable in
color and pattern but is typically marked with yellow to orange streaks and
blotches on a dark background. The eastern box turtle is very similar in
appearance to the state-endangered Ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornate).

The Natural Resources Commission approved the recommended administrative
rule changes on July 20, 2004. The Governor's Office, Attorney General's
Office and the Indiana Secretary of State gave final approval of the rule
changes on September 23, 2004. This change in the administrative rules puts
Indiana in the top ten of states in the country trying to conserve the
eastern box turtle.

Specific information about eastern box turtles and new possession permits in
Indiana is available on the Wildlife Diversity Section's website at:

Permit information may also be obtained by contacting the Division of Fish &
Wildlife at 317-232-4080.

Media contact:
Zack Walker
zwalker at

Permit Information:
Linnea Petercheff
lpetercheff at

Images contact:
Alisha Schiffli
aschiffli at
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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:27:51 CST