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A man from New Hampshire has plead guilty to illegal possession and selling of threatened and endangered turtles. The spotted turtle and Blanding's turtles were found in his home and have since been released back into the wild.
Richard Decoste pleaded guilty to both charges, and has paid roughly $1,000 in fines, reports SF Gate News. Ten spotted turtles and two Blanding's turtles were found.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation of New York, the spotted turtle is most active from March to October. The turtle is sensitive to a change in the atmosphere and water within their habitats, including the addition of pollution and toxins. It was one of the most common turtles in the New York vicinity in the early 1900's, however the continuous loss of habitats are driving the turtles into decline.
The Blanding's turtle, however, is much more widespread across the central portion of the United States, and is most often found within the later months of the year. They are most often killed in roadway accidents with vehicles, and habitat fragmentation can also affect the turtle's stress levels, reports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.