It’s World Turtle Day! From a tiny baby bog turtle to a massive leatherback, turtles come in many shapes and sizes. Found gliding through the open ocean or slowly trudging over desert plains, they are fascinating creatures. Because of environmental threats, several species are endangered and need our help. Video of a baby turtle running for the surf by Dry Tortugas National Park.
We asked Dr. David Steen, @alongsideWild , what the most important thing we turtle and tortoise humans should know and this is what he said.
What does this mean? With so many species already at risk, the loss of a single turtle or tortoise can cause an EXTREME decrease in the population as a whole.
As @Rymkrs points out, one turtle lost to us is decades of hatchlings that will never be. This is why it’s SO very important we keep wildlife wild, safe, and respected, so turtles and tortoises continue to be among the longest living creatures on our planet.
Dr. David Steen is an Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at Auburn University and according to @Slate the best biologist on Twitter! We agree!
*edit: it has come to my attention that in British English (which I use) there is a distinction between “turtle” and “tortoise”, while in American English all these guys fall under the “turtle” category. Oh well. The more you know!
Turtles and tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrate animals on the planet. Over half of all the chelonian species in the world are threatened with extinction.
These animals watched the dinosaurs come and go and now they may leave this planet forever mostly because we like to eat them, collect their shells, take them from the wild as pets, and hit them with our cars.