Save Declining Box Turtles From the Illegal Pet Trade

Target: Martha Williams, Director – US Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Crack down on illegal trafficking of box turtles in the United States to protect the species from further harm and protect their populations from exploitation.

Box turtles are popular pets in the United States, and their wild populations have been severely impacted by the illegal trade in recent years. Box turtles are protected by law in most states, and it is illegal to take them from the wild and sell them without a permit. However, many people still engage in this illegal trade, leading to the decline of wild populations and endangering the survival of the species.

The illegal trade of box turtles is driven by the demand for them as pets. Box turtles are popular because they are small, cute, and easy to care for. Many people believe that they make great pets for children, but in reality, they require specialized care and can live for decades. Because of this, many people who purchase box turtles as pets are ill-equipped to care for them properly, leading to poor health and high mortality rates.

The illegal trade of box turtles also poses a threat to wild populations. Many box turtles are taken from the wild as juveniles, which reduces the chances of them reproducing and contributing to the survival of the species. Additionally, box turtles have specific habitat requirements and are highly susceptible to habitat loss and fragmentation. The illegal trade in box turtles exacerbates these threats by removing individuals from already fragile populations.

To combat the illegal trade of box turtles, it is important to educate the public about the importance of protecting wild populations and the risks associated with keeping box turtles as pets. Additionally, law enforcement agencies must crack down on the illegal trade by investigating and prosecuting those who engage in it. Finally, efforts must be made to protect and restore box turtle habitat, so that wild populations can thrive and contribute to the survival of the species.

Sign the below petition to urge the US Fish and Wildlife Service to take action to protect wild box turtles from exploitation.


Dear Director Williams,

I am writing to you to urge the US Fish and Wildlife Service to take action against the illegal trafficking of box turtles in the United States. The box turtle population is facing a significant decline due to overexploitation and illegal trading, and it is time for the government to step in and take measures to protect this species.

The illegal trading of box turtles not only violates state and federal laws, but it also causes harm to these animals, leading to population decline and eventual extinction. The United States has various policies and regulations in place to protect wildlife, and it is essential to ensure that these policies are enforced to protect the box turtle population.

I am urging you to take immediate action to crack down on the illegal trafficking of box turtles and to implement measures to protect their populations from further decline. We need to ensure that these creatures are not subjected to inhumane and unethical treatment and are protected from those who seek to exploit them for profit.

Please take appropriate steps to enforce current policies, implement stricter regulations and penalties for illegal trade, and ensure that the box turtle population is safeguarded for future generations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Arun Thomas

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