gearylebell:

Wilson!!! #turtle #bayofquinte #bellevilleontario #bellevillewaterfronttrail (at Belleville Waterfront Trail)

  If this little guy can hang on up there, the least we can do is help him continue to do so. celebrate every day like its world turtle day! 

What would the world be like without the Yangtze giant softshell turtle? Let’s not find out!  

(Source Ugly Animal Society & Turtle Survival Alliance

Most animals are best at one thing, but the Yangtze giant softshell turtle masters at least two. With only four individuals known to science, and only one of those a female, this turtle is one of the rarest animals on earth. However, that’s not the limit of its plight, because you see, it is also one of the ugliest!  Just look at her. Her beady little eyes have a twinkle that suggests defiance of extinction. Unfortunately, most people won’t notice her tiny eyes, because it’s difficult to see past the long soggy neck, massive girth, webbed talons and the rubbery-looking “snorkel” in front of her eyes.  These less-than-lovely physical characteristics may be one reason why the conservation of this species is rife with challenges.  Although another charming, albeit invisible, trait which this beauty bears is the unique (to aquatic turtles, that is) ability to breathe through her butt, allowing the exchange of oxygen while completely submerged.  It is no surprise that while the Yangtze giant softshell turtle stands apart, it is also in danger of standing alone.  The main causes of this species’ endangerment are habitat pollution, environmental degradation and believe it or not, consumption by humans. This last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle, one of the three remaining males, and the Turtle Survival Alliance, have joined forces in an effort to ensure that the world is never without this uniquely appealing turtle.  Take action this World Turtle Day and join the Turtle Survival Alliance in its mission to save the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle from extinction.

Thanks for celebrating World Turtle Day with us! 

Remember, Its never too late to help! Check out a few of the great organizations working to save turtles and tortoises worldwide and donate if you can. 

Just a few: 

Turtle Trauma Center http://kawarthaturtle.org/blog/
American Tortoise Rescue http://www.tortoise.com/
Sea Turtle Conservancy http://www.conserveturtles.org/
Tortoise Trust http://www.tortoisetrust.org/
Marine Turtle Research Group: http://www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/

Little RESQ http://www.littleresq.net/
Turtle Rescue of Long Island http://www.turtlerescues.com/
Turtles in the Road Awareness Association http://titraa.wix.com/titraa

Check out this list of Herp Societies and Rescues: http://www.anapsid.org/societies/

Jaywalking turtles? Whats a human to do? 

A #WorldTurtleDay call for kindness and caution when cruising the roads this summer. 

(Source: Sippican Villagesoup)

May 19, 2014

To the editor:

As you drive around Rochester, you’ve probably noticed turtle crossing signs. But this time of year many drivers are encountering turtles crossing the road in unmarked places! Obviously, like many residents of Massachusetts, Rochester turtles flaunt the law and just jaywalk at will. What is a driver (or walker or biker) to do with these flagrant lawbreakers?

First, it might be best to identify the culprits. There are basically three members of the ancient (220 million years of history) order of Testudines, turtles, one might encounter in Rochester. Snapping turtles can be found near any wetland. They look menacing with a dark carapace (shell) often draped with algae, long nails, hooked beak and thick tail as long as its shell, not to mention its reputation of snapping and holding on. The carapace can measure up to 18 inches and the largest ever caught in Massachusetts weighed 76.5 pounds. Painted turtles are seen basking in rows on logs and rocks in any wetland in the spring. It is probably our most abundant turtle. Its dark olive to black carapace is bordered top and bottom with red and black designs. Its bottom shell (plastron) is usually yellow but may have markings on it. The legs and tail are usually red and black and the head is yellow and black. Finally, there are Eastern Box turtles, which are more tortoise like, although they also use wetlands. They have a high domed carapace with a brown to black background and yellow to orange marking in varying patterns. Its plastron is yellow to olive with varying black blotches or lines. It is also hinged so that the turtle may completely close itself up if it senses danger. There are some other kinds of turtles that may be found in Rochester, they but are extremely rare.

So why do these turtles cross the road? Well, like the chicken, to get to the other side. In the spring, the females are searching for somewhere to lay their eggs. One theory is that they can smell disturbed earth, especially sandy or gravel banks. Another theory is that they are returning to where they hatched. Whatever the reason, the proper etiquette if one sees a turtle in the road is to first do nothing to endanger your safety. If it is a snapper, you can just watch and wave off traffic or, if brave, grab a stout stick, let it snap on and drag it by the mouth to the other side where you can leave stick and turtle to sort it out. But if it’s a box turtle or painted turtle and traffic is light and you have the time, watch it. If you are in a hurry and think it might be hit by another car, pick up the turtle and carry it in the direction it was heading to the other side of the road. You might think it might be better to put it back in the wetland it came from or to bring it home to a safe place. Don’t do it. It is on a mission!

The bottom line is if you can do this small act of kindness to help a fellow creature without endangering yourself, please do. Remember Karma is always watching. And if you get to see where she digs and lays her eggs, you might want to cover the area with chicken wire to prevent predation of the eggs. But more than that, any encounter with a wild creature is a special occasion. The chance to observe and interact with a bit of our wild world is a wonderful thing. Embrace it. We are lucky to live in a town where this is possible to see and appreciate so much wildlife.

This tongue in cheek bit of education was brought to you by the letter T and the Rochester Open Space Committee, who thought you might like to know! If you have turtle or other nature related questions, you can call the Conservation Commission at Town Hall Annex.

Rochester Open Space Committee

#WorldTurtleDay and Wetlands Month combine to remind us of the critically endangered Bog Turtle. This little shell is losing its habitat and their numbers are declining rapidly. 

Learn more about the bog turtle and how you can help efforts to protect its declining habitat. 

http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/species/spotlight/bog_turtle_spotlight/

turtleconservancy:

May is American Wetlands Month! Wetlands are a crucial habitat for many threatened and endangered species like the Critically Endangered Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii). @usfws #TurtleConservancy #turtle #tortoise #conservation #wetlands #endangered #USFWS #Wetlandsmonth

Sixty Shells, a game that raises money for turtles and tortoises

Sixty Shells, a game that raises money for turtles and tortoises

Can’t get out this #WorldTurtleDay? Help turtles and tortoises right from your computer! Play this incredible game and support the American Tortoise Rescue! 

To celebrate World Turtle Day, I made a casual webgame called “Sixty Shells,” and for everyone who beats the game and posts about it, I am donating sixty cents to American Tortoise Rescue, a small charity outside Los Angeles that has organized World Turtle Day for the last fourteen years.

The game is pretty tough, so I encourage people to share it with their friends or — better yet — match my donation. American Tortoise Rescue has rescued over 3000 tortoises and turtles since their founding. With your help, they can rescue even more.

Thanks for celebrating #WorldTurtleDay with us!

We hope that, through this post-a-thon, we’ve helped raise awareness of the need for action is huge and grows every day! The posts we’ve shared today highlight just a few of the critical issues facing turtles and tortoises today. We all love their cute little faces, their amazing side eyes, and their need to nom everything in sight, but we can’t forget that they also face dire straights in every region of the world. Loving them just isn’t enough! Actions speak louder than words! 

Before we go, a few last thoughts:

HOW TO HELP TURTLES AND TORTOISES EVERY DAY!

The number one thing you can do for turtles and tortoises is to be a responsible / respectful turtle and tortoise lover,  as well as an educated turtle or tortoise owner

That right there is the end all be all. Beyond that, here are some tips. I was going to write my own tips list here but I’m (as you are all very aware heh) very wordy. The American Tortoise Rescue (http://www.tortoise.com/) compiled a much more succinct list so here it is (with a few of my own add ons): 

  • Never buy a turtle from a pet shop, as it increases demand from the wild.
  • Never remove turtles from the wild unless they are sick or injured. 
  • If a turtle 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. 
  • Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles to your local animal control shelter. 
  • Report the sale of any turtle of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.

A few added points of my own:

  • Do your research before adopting a turtle or tortoise. Make sure you can provide the appropriate housing and care for your shell friend THROUGHOUT its lifetime!
  • Spread the love AND the knowledge!
  • If you can, help your local rescue and rehab facility by donating or volunteering!

A Very SMALL INCOMPLETE AND RANDOM List of Rescues and Conservation organiztions out there!  Later this week I thought I’d start a post we can all add to so a larger list can eb created.. till then here are just a few places that work to help turtles and tortoises.

Thanks for celebrating #WorldTurtleDay with us!

We hope that, through this post-a-thon, we’ve helped raise awareness of the need for action is huge and grows every day! The posts we’ve shared today highlight just a few of the critical issues facing turtles and tortoises today. We all love their cute little faces, their amazing side eyes, and their need to nom everything in sight, but we can’t forget that they also face dire straights in every region of the world. Loving them just isn’t enough! Actions speak louder than words! 

Before we go, a few last thoughts:

HOW TO HELP TURTLES AND TORTOISES EVERY DAY!

The number one thing you can do for turtles and tortoises is to be a responsible / respectful turtle and tortoise lover,  as well as an educated turtle or tortoise owner

That right there is the end all be all. Beyond that, here are some tips. I was going to write my own tips list here but I’m (as you are all very aware heh) very wordy. The American Tortoise Rescue (http://www.tortoise.com/) compiled a much more succinct list so here it is (with a few of my own add ons): 

  • Never buy a turtle from a pet shop, as it increases demand from the wild.
  • Never remove turtles from the wild unless they are sick or injured. 
  • If a turtle 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. 
  • Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles to your local animal control shelter. 
  • Report the sale of any turtle of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.

A few added points of my own:

  • Do your research before adopting a turtle or tortoise. Make sure you can provide the appropriate housing and care for your shell friend THROUGHOUT its lifetime!
  • Spread the love AND the knowledge!
  • If you can, help your local rescue and rehab facility by donating or volunteering!

A Very SMALL INCOMPLETE AND RANDOM List of Rescues and Conservation organiztions out there!  Later this week I thought I’d start a post we can all add to so a larger list can eb created.. till then here are just a few places that work to help turtles and tortoises.