Posted by admin | 01.28.2011 | Conservation, Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, Turtle Talk

Year of the Turtle

The Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) have declared 2011 to be the year of the turtle in an effort to draw attention to the diminishing populations of turtles worldwide. Turtles have been around since the Triassic, indicating that they have weathered several environmental changes. The current amalgamation of threats, however, has proved to be overwhelming these reptiles.

According to PARC, turtles are the fastest disappearing animal group on the planet. From our work at with the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, we have seen some of the challenges they face first hand: habitat lose and destruction, harvesting, pollution, disease, human interactions, bycatch, invasive species, and climate change.

PARC is an assemblage of public and private organizations with the goal of herpetological conservation; this includes all amphibian and reptile species, not just sea turtles. So even if you don’t live by the ocean, there is something that you can do to help. Try contacting local conservation groups, like the Sea Turtle Hospital, to see what can be done.

Turtles have managed to inhabit to a variety of environments. Some live in saltwater, some live in brackish, some live in freshwater, and some are terrestrial. This indicates their capability to adapt to different conditions over time. Currently these conditions are changing too rapidly for turtles to adequately respond. To learn more about this phenomenon, become a part of PARC’s year of the turtle, or to find out how you can help in your community see their report on the State of the Turtle.