"The turtle population in Ontario, Canada is quickly shrinking. The reptiles are being sold quickly on the international pet market. Even though international pet trading is illegal, North American turtles are found for sale in pet stores in Europe and Asia. North American turtles are by far the most common as pets. Researchers have found many endangered turtles for sale in Asia, including spotted turtles, wood turtles, box turtles and snapping turtles. The spotted turtle and snapping turtle are classified as endangered, but the other species do not have much brighter futures either, especially given the rate of poaching.
Poaching turtles at such a high rate is not only damaging their population, it is also is damaging the ecosystem. Turtles in Ontario are a vital part of the ecosystem, and taking them away is taking away from a natural piece of that ecosystem. Ontario, in particular, has some vague and ineffective legislation when it comes to turtle protection. For example, snapping turtles are on a watch list, but anyone with a fishing license can also hunt and eat them. Because of legislation like this, turtles are often taken out of other provinces and smuggled into Ontario. Call on Ontario’s Premier to push for more consistent and strong legislation to offer turtles more protection."