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World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, May 23, 2019/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, video, marine life, sustainability, environment, adventure

                                                               Green Sea Turtle (credit: NOAA)

World Turtle Day is here again. The yearly event was established so people might remember these ancient creatures that  survived the dinosaurs. Programs have been organized at various institutions to educate kids and adults alike about turtles and tortoises. These ancient reptiles are subject to many environmental threats: forest and desert conversion, being hit by cars and boats, the illegal wildlife trade, over-harvesting of eggs, discarded ocean plastic mistaken as food, and abandoned fishing nets.

The conservation group American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) is one of the organizations offering Turtle Day events. When founded in 1990, no turtle rescues existed anywhere in the U.S. ATR initially saved two tortoises soon followed by a box turtle. Their rescues kept expanding until nearly 4,000 turtles and tortoises have been saved in the U.S. and elsewhere. Now, turtle rescue programs exist in every state and many other countries. With these successes, ATR became the founding sponsor for World Turtle Day in 2000. The event is now celebrated around the world.

Individuals can play a vital role in turtle conservation by: reducing the amount of plastic consumed; adopting a turtle from a rescue center rather than purchasing from a pet store; encouraging legislators to protect wildlife habitat; and donating to conservation organizations working to protect turtles and tortoises in their habitat. One example involved the rescue of an endangered, motorboat-injured loggerhead turtle nursed to health in Florida and then re-released back to the Atlantic ocean.

A turtle rescue is fine example of compassion towards these land and sea creatures. It's a perfect example for World Turtle Day.



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