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Turtles at Risk

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Last year, our State passed laws further protecting our natural resources. It’s now illegal to import or sell invasive Argentine tegu lizards. Equally important is new legislation addressing another major threat to our native animal life. South Carolina has had the unfortunate reputation as a place to purchase native reptiles and amphibians, collected or bred, from people who were involved in that business. Our turtles were especially in peril as trade in those animals, sometimes in illegal international channels, was putting certain species at risk. The new law limits the number of native reptiles and amphibians according to species and rarity that people can keep. It also allows for the trade or sell of certain of these native animals in only a very few specific instances. In all situations, citizens must inform and provide paperwork to SC’s Department of Natural Resources.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.