Ways to get involved

To support all of our species conservation efforts, you may purchase the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, nicknamed the "Tiger Stamp." A portion of the proceeds from each Tiger Stamp goes directly to conserving international wildlife conservation. We thank you, in advance, for supporting this important work.

You can help conserve tortoises and freshwater turtles in multiple ways. Just a few of these include:

  • If you are in nature and see a turtle, do not take it home or share its location with the public. Often people will search social media for turtle sightings and go there to remove them.
  • Keep a watchful eye while driving a vehicle or riding a bike. As the weather warms, turtles go looking for new territory, breeding opportunities, and food. Sometimes these quests require crossing roads. One of the best ways to be a good neighbor to turtles is by helping them get across roads, if it’s safe for you to do so. Check out these tips for how to do it right.
  • While on vacation, be mindful that not all wildlife products for sale are legal. Many products, made with turtle parts, could be illegal to bring back to the United States. Make sure your purchase is legal and properly sourced. When in doubt, don’t buy it.
  • If you are thinking about purchasing a pet turtle, familiarize yourself with state, federal, and international wildlife regulations regarding the sale and possession of specific species. Always be sure to inquire about where a turtle came from before you consider buying one. Or check local shelters for unwanted pet turtles that need a new home.
  • If you have a pet turtle and can no longer keep it, find a shelter, a turtle club or society with rescue programs, or new family to take your pet. Do not release it in nearby woods. Introducing a turtle to your neighborhood can do a great deal of harm to local populations.
  • If you believe you have witnessed a wildlife crime or suspect someone is illegally collecting or selling protected turtle species, contact our Office of Law Enforcement  or your state wildlife agency.

Did you know?

Reptiles such as turtles can carry salmonella, a bacterium that can be transmitted to humans through direct contact, turtle waste, or contaminated water. The popularity of turtles as pets and their ability to appear healthy while carrying salmonella presents a health risk to owners. Small children are especially vulnerable to infection as they are more likely to put small turtles near or into their mouths. In response to this health risk, in 1975 the Food and Drug Administration banned sale of turtles less than four inches long as pets.