Friday, May 23, 2008

World Turtle Day

Did you know today - May 23 - is World Turtle Day? Don't feel too badly if you didn't know. It's a relatively recent thing. It was initiated in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, a California group involved with rescue as well as issues of conservation and protection. Given the plight of turtles, I think such a day is very appropriate so I'm doing my part to publicize it.

Since two red-eared sliders came into my life in October of 2003, I have learned many things about domestic aquatic turtles and their care. I've also become interested in turtles in the wild and the issues facing the large sea turtles that swim the oceans. People send me links and newspaper clippings about turtles around the country and around the world. It seems as though the turtles that swim in a tank in my living room have connected me to the wider realm turtle concerns.

An article entitled Celebrate World Turtle Day on the website of The Humane Society of the United States explains why turtles should receive this honor and why a date in May was chosen. Please take a moment to read it.

Here are seven ways you can celebrate World Turtle Day:

  1. Read the article above to learn of the plight of sea turtles and some of the solutions being employed and proposed. The article also contains information on the risks to domestic turtles posed by pollution and development as well as export for food in other countries.
  2. Know what to do If You See a Turtle in the Road. (not likely in Manhattan, but friends in Connecticut and New Jersey often see turtles trying to cross the road)
  3. Know what to do If You Find A Sea Turtle. (hey, people from around the world read my turtle posts!)
  4. Observe the 12 Things You Can Do For Turtles.
  5. If someone you know has a birthday coming up, buy a gift from During their special sale May 23-25, 10% of all proceeds will go to The Center for Biological Diversity's project to stop the commercial collection of turtles taking place in the southern United States.
  6. And speaking of the Center for Biological Diversity, please sign their petition to protect wild freshwater turtles in the southern United States. The Center has organized a coalition of conservation and health groups seeking to end the commercial harvest of freshwater turtles in four southern states and to stop the sale of contaminated turtles to domestic and international food markets. Click here to take action.
  7. Donate to an organization that helps turtles. Here's a few organizations that could use your help. And if your company matches charitable gifts, don't forget to send along the appropriate form.

Terrapin Conservation of the Wetlands Institute (donate online)

Sea Turtle, Inc. (donate online)

Center for Biological Diversity (donate online)

Turtle Conservation Fund (send checks c/o Chelonian Research Foundation -- an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Address: 168 Goodrich St., Lunenburg, MA, 01462 USA)

Humane Society of the United States (in addition to their education regarding turtles, they do wonderful work to stop cruelty to pets & farm animals)

If you know of other organizations, please leave that info in a comment.

Happy Turtle Day!

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement

1 comment:

Steve sculpts critters said...

I kept a turtle (slider) for a month or two while I sculpted it, then released it into a koi pond last year where it has been seen this spring I'm glad to say.
You might get a kick out the sculpture, it's on my blog.
Nice turtle info,