By Dan Shapley
Ok, so you may not have heard. But it is Endangered Species Day - not a holiday exactly, but a day of awareness officially designated by Congress. So it's a good day to highlight a facet of endangered species protection that every person can do something about in their home, or neighborhood strip mall: Stopping the illegal pet trade. Rare and endangered pets are sold across America, sometimes right out in the open. For many species -- turtles particularly -- the pet trade is one of the greatest threats to their survival. Turtles are long-lived, but reproduce rarely, a survival strategy that served them very well for millions of years. In the age of highways, pet trade and exotic Asian soups, however, it means losing a single adult turtle from the wild can wipe out generations of turtles. It's a fact that's made turtles among the most endangered of the world's creatures, according to a story in the May 18 Los Angeles Times. So if you're thinking of bringing a little turtle home, make sure it's a common-enough species. If species protection isn't enough, consider the law. Read on.