Trapping snapping turtles is unlike harvesting corn each year because, unlike corn, turtles do not grow back the following year. Turtles take many years to reach full size. Trapping them is more like cutting redwood trees: you must wait a long time to see them grow back, which they never will do if their habitat is also degraded, as it has been.
A2490 passed in the Senate on 13 June 2013. If it passes in the Assembly, it becomes law. Threatened and endangered turtles such as terrapins, Blanding's turtles, and wood turtles will be affected adversely as ‘bycatch’. The easiest snapping turtles to trap will be females laying eggs near riverside and lakeside roads. Although protection of all snapping turtles should continue, these females are least appropriate for trapping, because future snapping turtle generations depend upon their well-being. Trapping licenses, which should continue to exclude all snapping turtles, therefore should continue also to exclude egg-laying females, just as marine trappers are required by Federal law to protect egg-bearing (‘gravid’) female crabs and lobsters.
Defeating A2490-2013 is scientifically justified and economically affordable as shown. Equally important, scientific evidence documenting the health of snapping turtle populations in New York State is nonexistent. Scientific evidence supporting the bill should have been a prerequisite for proposing it. Yet, I am aware of no such supporting evidence.
Defeating A2490-2013 also is humane. Indeed, science also has shown that people are sympathetic to turtles, even snapping turtles. In one experiment, for example, drivers were observed to avoid hitting turtle decoys far more consistently than snake decoys that were placed on the road.