Words of wisdom from the experts pt 2

Check out this INCREDIBLE photo by Amanda Hipps, @biophilamanda, one of the experts who responded to our #worldturtleday question. Amanda studies the animals that live in gopher tortoise burrows. In case you didn’t know, gopher tortoise burrows are home to hundreds of other animals. Their status as endangered directly impacts the lives of 360 other animals ability to survive. Conservation matters! 

We asked her to share a little more about this photo and her work with the gopher tortoises and their many roommates: 

Gopher tortoises are the only native tortoise species in the southeastern US. They dig burrows up to 40 feet in length for protection from weather, fire, and predators, and are considered a keystone species because their burrows also provide refuge for over 360 other animals. Gopher tortoises are listed as federally threatened in Florida, and some animals, such as the indigo snake, are directly impacted by the gopher tortoises decline. This photo of the gopher tortoise and the southern toad was taken during the midday, summer heat in south Florida which is likely the reason the southern toad is taking refuge underground with the tortoise.

Many issues contribute to the decline of gopher tortoises, but their most significant threat today is habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to urban development. One way everyone can help with gopher tortoise conservation is by supporting conservation land-acquisition programs. In order to protect the gopher tortoise and the many species that depend on them, protection of their remaining habitats, as well as habitat restoration and management, should be of the highest priority.


Ellos to all of my followers
And a grand
♡♡♡♡Happy World Wide Turtle day♡♡♡♡♡♡
I hope yall give all my turtle and tortoise friends some yummie treats and give them much needed love on such a wonderful holiday
Ontop of some good romping around time in or outside today. I sure am going to have a great day


Happy #WorldTurtleDay Freddy!

Zoya is having a pretty great day too. She got a BIG surprise! 

No better way to #shellebrate than fresh noms!

Words of Wisdom from the Experts Pt. 1

This year, in honor of #WorldTurtleDay, we asked herpetologists, biologists, rescues, and rehabbers, to tell us what they wish more people knew about Turtles and Tortoises.  Starting today we’ll be sharing a few responses a day! Let’s learn more about the animals we love from people who have devoted their lives to protecting them. 

Biologist and fellow tumblrite @typhlonectes shares some important perspective and a call to action. 

I want people to know that a lot of turtles are in trouble. Out of the 325+ species of turtle in the world, up to a 3rd of them are in trouble in some way, some them critically endangered, some even extinct in the wild, living only in captivity now.

Turtles face threats from overcollection as food, overcollection for the pet industry, and habitat destruction.

People can and should help threatened and endangered turtles through conservation organizations like:

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: The Vulnerable Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: The Vulnerable Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

The Yellow-Spotted Amazon River Turtle is just one of the many incredible turtles and tortoises at high risk of extinction mostly due to the illegal wildlife trade

The realities of wildlife smuggling are ugly images of animals ripped from their homes in the wild, arms and legs taped up, shoved into compartments or containers, and shipped overseas to be sold as pets, for their shells, or for food. Mostly, to be sold as pets. People that do this pose as breeders and sell these animals to pet stores claiming they were hatched under their care when they very clearly were not. Those that don’t die in transit often have health issues that impact them for a lifetime. The only way to stop is to stop the demand.

Take a look at this article about one of the many organizations on the ground in Tunisia, and their experiences saving tortoises from the illegal wildlife trade

This is not a pretty issue but one that MUST be discussed. Those of us that care about turtles and tortoises have to do what we can to spread information, support organizations working to rescue these animals, and remind people not to say NO to buying turtles and tortoises this way.



The purpose of World Turtle Day is to “increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive”.

Here are a couple of ways that turtles are getting help.

How are these endangered baby sea turtles finding their way home? Mostly by themselves, but they get by with a little help from their friends 😀 From @itsokaytobesmart

Turtles grow up without parents, which might sound lonely. But for threatened baby turtles raised in a zoo it’s an advantage: they can learn to catch crickets all by themselves. There’s a paradox, though. When they are ready to leave the nursery, there is little wilderness where they can make a home.

From @kqedscience‘s DEEP LOOK


#shellebrate! It’s the 17th annual #WORLDTURTLEDAY! Party time! *BYO noms! 

This year we have asked turtle and tortoise experts around the internet to tell us what they wish more people knew about turtles and tortoises. We’ll be sharing several of these today, along with conservation tips, organizations and individuals doing awesome things, and of course, we’re excited to see how all of our shell friends are celebrating! 

Nobody likes a deadline so our party will continue all week long, but today we’ll give you some extra posts in honor of this #shellebration. So check in a few times today and remember to give a tort a dandie, a turt a wormie, and be sure there are head skritches all around. 

About World Turtle Day:

World turtle day was started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, The day was created by ATR to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Now celebrated around the globe, turtle and tortoise lovers are taking “shellfies” and holding “shellebrations” in the US, Canada, Pakistan, Borneo, India, Australia, the UK and many other countries.

ATR launched World Turtle Day to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade. It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.  

(See slide show here.)

ATR’s ultimate goal is to stop the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world. The first priority here in the U.S. is to ask pet stores and reptile shows to stop the sale of hatchling tortoises and turtles without proper information for the buyer.

Learn more and support the American Tortoise Rescue here!