CITES Appendix III-listed Turtles Occuring in the United States

Below is a list of freshwater turtle species listed by the United States in Appendix III of CITES.

Species

Common Name

Range States in the United States and Provinces of Canada

Macroclemys Macrochelystemminckii

Alligator snapping turtle

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana (uncertain), Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas

Chelydra serpentina*

Common snapping turtle*

Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan); United States (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada - Introduced, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)

Graptemys barbouri

Barbour’s map turtle

Alabama, Florida, and Georgia

Graptemys caglei

Cagle’s map turtle

Texas

Graptemys ernsti

Escambia map turtle

Alabama and Florida

Graptemys flavimaculata

Yellow-blotched map turtle

Mississippi

Graptemys geographica

Common map turtle

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin (Canada - Ontario and Quebec)

Graptemys gibbonsi

Pascagoula map turtle

Louisiana and Mississippi

Graptemys nigrinoda

Black-knobbed map turtle

Alabama and Mississippi

Graptemys oculifera

Ringed map turtle

Louisiana and Mississippi

Graptemys ouachitensis

Ouachita map turtle

Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

Graptemys pearlensis

Pearl River map turtle

Louisiana and Mississippi

Graptemys pseudogeographica

False map turtle

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida (uncertain), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin

Graptemys pulchra

Alabama map turtle

Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi

Graptemys versa

Texas map turtle

Texas

Apalone ferox*

Florida softshell turtle*

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina

Apalone mutica*

Smooth softshell turtle*

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Apalone spinifera*

Spiny softshell turtle*

Canada (Ontario, Québec); Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas); United States (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)

*The CITES Appendix III listing of three softshell turtles and the common snapping turtle became effective on November 21, 2016.

 

Guidance for U.S. Appendix III Turtle Farmers: Applying for CITES Export Permits

alligator-snapping-turtle

Credit: Gary M. Stolz/USFWS

If you are exporting directly from a turtle farm, whether the turtles to be exported are captive-bred or wild, you are eligible to establish an annual Master File for the export of Appendix III turtles. Please submit application form 3-200-75 to our office with the processing fee.

Refer to the guidance below for instructions on completing the form. Once the Division of Management Authority receives your request, we will review your application to confirm if you meet the issuance criteria for export permits for Appendix III specimens. We will contact you if we have questions or concerns about your application.

Do you already have an annual Master file and seek to apply for additional export permits? Please scroll to the bottom of this section (“Export Permits Issued from an Annual Master File”) or click here for guidance.

The following guidance was created to assist U.S. turtle farmers who plan to export Appendix III turtles in completing form 3-200-75.

To view a list of the United States freshwater species listed in Appendix III, click here. If you are not a U.S. turtle farmer, click here for guidance on import and export procedures.

  1. On page one:      
  • Complete section B. Applying on behalf of a business or corporation, and section C, address information.
  • Complete section C. Questions 1 and 2 are primarily there as a reminder to you on the need to obtain required permits or licenses from your State. Question 3 addresses the application fee. The fee for an annual Master File is $50 (as established in 50 CFR 13.11(4)). Please do not submit a fee of $100. Please sign and date the application in question 5 and 6. 
  1. On page two:
  • If you are establishing an annual Master file for the first time, please check the first box (“Establish a new registration”). If you are renewing or amending a current annual Master file, please check the second box.
  • Question 1: Please identify the specific Appendix-III turtle species your facility produces and will be exporting. Given that common names may have regional variation, you must include the scientific name of the species (refer to our list of accepted scientific names).
  • Question 2: Describe the products or specimens to be exported. If dealing with live turtles, you will not need to provide hatch dates, sex, or a description of the turtles (please note, however, that permits issued under a Master file will be conditioned to limit the size of the specimens to 2” or less for map and softshell turtles and 3” or less for common and alligator snapping turtles).
  • If a Master file is established, the Division of Management Authority will issue a number of partially completed export permits that you will need to complete and present to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Inspector at the time of export. In your cover letter, please identify the number of permits you believe you would need for the first 5-6 months. A processing fee of $5 is required for each permit requested. Each permit will be valid for 6 months (i.e., must be used within six months of the listing date). The Division of Management Authority cannot refund or renew any 6-month permit that has expired.
  1. On page three:
  • If you are intending to export map or alligator snapping turtles, complete questions 3 and 4.
  • If you are intending to export softshell or common snapping turtles, skip questions 3 and 4 and proceed to question 5 (if dealing with captive-bred Appendix III turtles) or question 16 (if dealing with wild-collected Appendix III turtles).
  • If you are dealing with both captive-bred and wild-collected turtles, please complete both questions 5 and 16.
  • Question 3: Please provide the location of your facility (physical location).
  • Questions 4: Please provide copies of licenses or permits required for the state where your facility is located.
  • While the application form states “For Captive-bred Appendix II species” before question 5, if you are exporting captive-bred Appendix III softshell or common snapping turtles, please complete questions 5 through 15.
  • Question 5: Please provide the location of your facility (physical location).
  • Question 6: Please provide a description of your production system (e.g., how your specimens are produced; number of females and males breeding stock; whether you supplement breeding stock; etc.).
  • Question 7: Please provide licenses or permits required for the state where your facility is located.
  • Question 8: Please provide the requested information to questions 8a), 8b), 8c), 8d), 8e), and 8f). If you do not have this information, please indicate why this information is not available.
  1. On page four:
  • Question 9: Indicate your estimated annual production of each species you wish to export.
  • Question 10: Indicate the normal mortality rate of your facility and discuss any unexpected or higher than normal mortality rates.
  • Question 11: Since you are applying for an annual master file for your breeding facility, complete question 11.
  • Questions 12 and 13 were removed from the application form.
  • Question 14: Since you are applying for a master file for your breeding facility, you would be considered the breeder of the turtles. Therefore, question 14 would not apply to you.
  • Question 15: Please provide labeled photographs of your facility.
  • Continue to question 16 if you are also exporting wild-collected softshell and common snapping turtles. Otherwise, continue to question 19 through 24.
  1. On page five:
  • While the application form states “For Wild-collected Appendix II species” before question 16, if you are exporting wild-collected Appendix III softshell or common snapping turtles, please complete questions 16 through 15.
  • Question 16: Provide all information requested on the source of the wild-collected turtles, such as evidence of legal harvest (16a), location of harvest (16c) and date of collection (16d).
  • Question 17: Please provide a description of your production facility. You could include labeled photographs if they are available.
  • Question 18: This question is not relevant to the export of wild-collected Appendix III turtles and should be skipped. All applicants need to complete questions 19 through 24:
  • Question 19: Provide a description of the shipping containers used to export your turtles, as well as arrangements for caring for the turtles during transport.
  • Question 20: All exports must be through a designed port. Please click on the link for information on available ports.
  • Question 21: If you want the permits mailed to a different address than is identified on page one, please indicate the alternative mailing address here.
  1. On page six:
  • Question 22: If you wish the permits to be delivered by means other than the U.S. Postal Service, indicate that here.
  • Question 23: Who should we contact if we have additional questions about the application?
  • Question 24: Please carefully read the statement and if you can answer no, please check that box. If you need to answer yes to the statement, please provide the additional information requested.


"Farm" Production - Export Permits issued off of an Annual Master File

Once an annual Master file has been established, the Division of Management Authority will issue you a number of single-use export permits. Each time you export, your shipment must be accompanied by one of these permits. Each permit will be partially completed with your facility name, the species that you will be exporting and the size (2 inches or less for softshell and map turtles and 3 inches or less for common and alligator snapping turtles) of the specimens. You will need to fill in the name and foreign address of the consignee (Block 4 of the permit) and the quantity of turtles being exported (Block 11 of the permit).

Since your annual Master File is valid for one year, you may request as many export permits during that one year period as you believe you will need. After 4 or 5 months of using these permits, the Division of Management Authority recommends that you re-evaluate the number of permits you will need for the next 6 month period. At that time, please submit application form 3-200-74 to the Division of Management Authority requesting any additional permits you need. Your application should contain all requested information and a $5 processing fee for each permit requested.

The processing time to receive additional export permits will be approximately 2 weeks.


Guidance for Commercial, Scientific, and Zoological Exporters of Turtles Removed from the Wild: Applying for a Single Use CITES Export Permit

If you are exporting turtles removed from the wild, please use application form 3-200-27 pdf.

  1. On page one: 
  • Complete sections B (you are considered to be a business) and C.
  • Complete section D. There is a $100 application fee that must be submitted with this application. Please sign and date the application.
  1. On page two:
  • Question 1: This question only needs to be answered if you, the applicant, do not reside in the United States.
  • Question 2: For each specimen to be exported, please provide the requested information.
  1. On page three:
  • Question 3: What is the current location of the specimens?
  • Question 4: The purpose of the export could be zoological, scientific, or commercial (if you are a commercial exporter).
  • Question 5: For each specimen to be exported:
    • Subquestion a: Location where specimens were obtained. This could be the production farm where purchased or location in the wild where the specimen was collected.
    • Subquestion b: This question is not relevant to your situation and does not need to be answered.
    • Subquestion c: This question is not relevant to your situation and does not need to be answered.
    • Subquestion d: Please provide copies of any relevant permits or licenses.
    • Subquestion e: This question is not relevant to your situation and does not need to be answered.
  • Question 6: This question is not relevant to your situation and does not need to be answered.
  • Question 7: Please indicate where the specimens will be exported.
  • Question 8: Since this question relates to migratory birds, no information is required for this question.
  • Question 9: Please provide a description of the shipping containers used to export your turtles, as well as arrangements for caring for the turtles during transport.
  • Question 10: Since this question relates to Appendix I specimens, no information is required for this question.
  1. On page four:
  • Question 11: This question is not relevant to your situation and does not need to be answered.
  • Question 12: Please identify the port of export that you would most likely be using.
  • • Questions 13, 4, 15, and 16: Please answer accordingly.

NOTE: Exporters may need an import/export license in order to engage in business as an importer or exporter of wildlife.

For general information on CITES permit requirements, click here pdf.

To find the contact information for a foreign CITES Management Authority, click here.

If, after reading this information, you are unclear about the permitting process, please feel free to contact us.