World Turtle Day 2016!

World Turtle Day 2016!

Posted by Michael Starbuck on 23rd May 2016

16 years may have passed since the first celebration of World Turtle Day, but this yearly event is still as necessary as it was back in 2000. The American Tortoise Rescue is a non-profit organisation which is dedicated to the protection of all species of turtles and tortoises, and as a result they created World Turtle Day on the 23rd May each year!

This day gives everyone the chance to help raise awareness of the plight of these incredible animals, and it also provides them with knowledge about how they can help the turtles and tortoises to survive and thrive out in the wild.

Turtle

Turtles face a variety of threats in their everyday lives, and this is why we need to use today to help make a difference. The threats to turtles are four-fold:

  • Bycatch – Every year hundreds of thousands of turtles are caught up in fishing nets that were intended for other species. Sea turtles need to reach the surface to breathe, so once they are trapped in these nets it can spell the end.
  • Illegal Trade – Sea turtles continue to be killed for both their meat and so that their parts can be traded. Turtle meat and eggs are a source of food and income for many people all around the world, and although the practice is illegal it is incredibly hard to police.
  • Habitat Loss – Turtles rely on beaches to nest, but increasingly all around the world these beaches are being destroyed or altered by humans. This leaves the turtles nowhere to lay their eggs and as a result the population suffers.
  • Climate Change – Turtles are directly affected by a change in the global temperature as there is a tendency for more females to be born in warmer climates meaning the male population has taken a hit. This affects the normal ratio of male to female turtles and means that future generations could suffer.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons as to why the turtles need our help, and there is no better day to start giving it than World Turtle Day. You don’t have to do much, just help us spread the word, but if you have been inspired to take more hands on action have a look at our turtle projects here.


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