Faculty in the News In the News

October 31, 2019 at 4:35 pm

National Geographic Quotes Roosenburg on Turtle Poaching in U.S.


Willem Roosenburg, portrait

Dr. Willem Roosenburg

Dr. Willem Roosenburg was quoted in a National Geographic article headlined “Turtles Are Being Snatched From U.S. Waters and Illegally Shipped to Asia.”

Roosenburg is Professor of Biological Sciences at Ohio University.

Willem Roosenburg, a turtle expert at Ohio University in Athens and the president of the Herpetologists League, says diamondback terrapins—caught in the past for meat consumption in soup—are now also being trapped and sent to Hong Kong and China for the exotic pet industry. Beyond poaching, turtles face other serious threats in the U.S., including mortality in crab pots, habitat loss, and predation by racoon and foxes.

Fish and Wildlife’s Bessey says there’s a fine line between spurring interest in turtles and making sure that the enthusiasm doesn’t encourage people to take them from the wild. “There are threats around every corner for turtles,” he says.

“Even posting a photograph of one of these turtles, if taken with an iPhone, is a problem because it has an embedded latitude and longitude,” Ohio University’s Roosenburg says.

Read more at National Geographic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *