Disappearing Turtles

The state House approved legislation today designed to regulate the commercial trapping of turtles.

The move is a response to a big jump in the numbers of turtles taken in North Carolina last year.

The number of turtles jumped from 460 in 2000 to more than 23,000 last year.

The bill would give the state Wildlife Resources Commission the power to protect nonendangered reptiles and amphibians. The commission could adopt rules to limit and even prohibit any trapping or taking of the animals.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)