The 12th World Turtle Day is an annual event sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue (ATR). This day is was originally started to bring attention to turtles and tortoises around the world that are facing numerous challenges to their survival. It was founded by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson.

In the words of founder Susan Tellem this is the reason that they founded World Turtle Day, “World Turtle Day was started 12 years ago to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade,” says Tellem. “We are seeing smaller turtles coming into the rescue meaning that older adults are disappearing from the wild, and the breeding stock is drastically reduced. It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.” Tellem added that many sea turtles lost their lives in 2010 thanks to BP’s uncontrolled oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. “It’s a tragic example of putting profits before preserving our environment.

Besides sea turtles there are also freshwater turtles. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are only seven existing saltwater species. Three of the seven are classified as Critically Endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and three as Endangered. Of the 263 species of freshwater and terrestrial turtles, 117 species are considered Threatened, 73 are either Endangered or Critically Endangered and one is Extinct. It is a grim reality for the turtles in this world.

But the plight of turtles is not without hope. Many conservation groups such as The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF are working hard to protect the turtles. The following reasons are the major areas of concern:

Habitat loss and degradation
Wildlife trade
Collection of eggs and meat for consumption
Incidental capture (bycatch)
Climate change

The American Tortoise Rescue suggests the following as ways that everyone can help protect turtles around the world.

~Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
~Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
~If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.
~Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.
~Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
~Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.

VIDEO Turtle Dance

Responses to "May 23rd - World Turtle Day around the world (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Trotz das es nur noch eine halbe Flosse gibt, schwimmt er munter drauf los.

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