NANFA-L-- re: turtle poachers arrested in Alabama

Charles Ray (
Thu, 28 Apr 2005 14:55:00 -0500

There appears to be a question as to what regulations the poachers
violated. The AL non-game regulations are posted on the web although
turtle poachers might not necessarily have web access. It appears they may
have violated three regulations.

The first
"(1) It shall be unlawful to take, capture, kill, or attempt to take,
capture or kill, possess, sell, trade for anything of monetary value, or
offer to sell or trade for anything of monetary value, the following
nongame wildlife species (or any parts or reproductive products of such
species) without a scientific collection permit or written permit from the
Commissioner, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which shall
specifically state what the permittee may do with regard to said species:"

Said species includes the Alligator Snapping Turtle, one of the species
mentioned in the article..

The second
(2) It shall be unlawful to collect or offer for sale sell or trade for
anything of value any box turtle (Terrapene Carolina), box turtle part or
reproductive product except by permit as outlined in paragraph (1

Box turtles were listed as one of the species taken.

Third, there are size requirements on the common snapping turtles and soft
shells -
" (3) It shall be unlawful to collects harvest, possess offer for sale sell
or trade for anything of monetary value any common snapping turtle
(Chelydra serpentina serpentina) or soft shell turtles (Apalone ferox,
Apalone muticus muticus, Apalone muticus calvatus, Apalone spiniferus
spiniferus, Abalone spiniferus asper) with a carapace length less than
eight inches (Except any species protected under this paragraph taken in a
live trap by a pond owner or his agent while controlling nuisance animals
is exempt but may not be sold or offered for sale or traded for anything of
monetary value )."

This would effectively make collection of male soft shell turtles illegal.
It also limits collection of both common snappers and soft shells to
breeding size adults.

The legal number taken seems high but Alabama allows 10 turtles per day to
be taken from public waters and banks of public waters. Four trappers
could legally amass 7000 turtles in about six months.

Charles Ray
Auburn, AL

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