TSA Turtle Tuesday: Eastern Short-necked Turtle
 The Eastern Short-necked Turtle (Emydura macquarii) is a widespread species found throughout Eastern Australia. They are a type of side-necked turtle, meaning their head is withdrawn under their top shell and pulled to the side rather than straight in like most turtles. These omnivorous chelonians are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever comes their way including plants, insects, frogs, molluscs and even carrion. 
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Eastern Short-necked Turtle

The Eastern Short-necked Turtle (Emydura macquarii) is a widespread species found throughout Eastern Australia. They are a type of side-necked turtle, meaning their head is withdrawn under their top shell and pulled to the side rather than straight in like most turtles. These omnivorous chelonians are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever comes their way including plants, insects, frogs, molluscs and even carrion.

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Western Tent Tortoise
Did you know that the Western Tent Tortoise (Psammobates tentorius trimeni) gets its name from the tent-like shape of its shell which forms naturally over time? 
Considered an endangered species, this small and colorful tortoise can be found in arid and rocky environments in Namibia and South Africa. They like to feed on small succulents but are generally considered omnivorous. During droughts they will remain dormant for long periods of time by burrowing into sandy soil at the base of low shrubs and emerge after rains return. 
They can drink water by raising their rear legs so that the morning dew which has collected on their shell can drain along its groves to their forelimbs so they can sip it.
 Photograph: TC/BCC Eric Goode
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Western Tent Tortoise

Did you know that the Western Tent Tortoise (Psammobates tentorius trimeni) gets its name from the tent-like shape of its shell which forms naturally over time?

Considered an endangered species, this small and colorful tortoise can be found in arid and rocky environments in Namibia and South Africa. They like to feed on small succulents but are generally considered omnivorous. During droughts they will remain dormant for long periods of time by burrowing into sandy soil at the base of low shrubs and emerge after rains return.

They can drink water by raising their rear legs so that the morning dew which has collected on their shell can drain along its groves to their forelimbs so they can sip it.

Photograph: TC/BCC Eric Goode

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)


TSA Turtle Tuesday: Big-headed turtle
The big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) gets its name from its most distinctive characteristic – its oversized triangular head. 

This shy and endangered turtle from Southeast Asia and China spends much of its day burrowed into gravel and hidden in rock crevices along stream edges. Individuals emerge at night to search for food along the stream bottom. They are almost entirely carnivorous and their strong bony jaws allow them to feed on hard shelled molluscs and crustaceans.
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Big-headed turtle

The big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) gets its name from its most distinctive characteristic – its oversized triangular head.
This shy and endangered turtle from Southeast Asia and China spends much of its day burrowed into gravel and hidden in rock crevices along stream edges. Individuals emerge at night to search for food along the stream bottom. They are almost entirely carnivorous and their strong bony jaws allow them to feed on hard shelled molluscs and crustaceans.

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: African soft-shelled turtle

The African soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx triunguis) is the largest of the genus and can reach a weight of over 100 pounds. As juveniles, the upper shell has white spots that may be ringed in yellow. These spots usually fade with age.

The African soft-shell is an omnivorous turtle with a wide distribution in both fresh and brackish waters in Africa and the Near East. It is known to be ambush hunter lying quietly in the muddy stream bottoms then rapidly reaching out with their long, flexible necks grabbing prey with its strong jaws and using its claws to hold onto prey!

Photo credit – Brandon Greaves and Alexander Stream

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

Sea Turtle Rehab and Conservation 
Rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle, Pine Tyme, is enjoying a nice “spa treatment” before her release this Friday! 
The great folks at The Turtle Hospital have been taking excellent care of this juvenile loggerhead, and now that she’s feeling 100% healthy, it’s time to send her back home to the ocean! 
Join us on Friday, Aug. 15 at 1pm on Sombrero Key, FL, to wish her good luck on her Tour de Turtles journey! 
Read Pine Tyme’s full bio online: Here
(via: Sea Turtle Conservancy)

Sea Turtle Rehab and Conservation

Rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle, Pine Tyme, is enjoying a nice “spa treatment” before her release this Friday!

The great folks at The Turtle Hospital have been taking excellent care of this juvenile loggerhead, and now that she’s feeling 100% healthy, it’s time to send her back home to the ocean!

Join us on Friday, Aug. 15 at 1pm on Sombrero Key, FL, to wish her good luck on her Tour de Turtles journey!

Read Pine Tyme’s full bio online: Here

(via: Sea Turtle Conservancy)

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Critically Endangered Tortoises of Madagascar
On top is the Radiated Tortoise, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises, whose carapace up to 40 cm long is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the center of each dark plate of the shell (hence its common name). This “star” pattern is more finely detailed and intricate than the normal pattern of other star-patterned tortoise species.
In the bottom you can see the smaller Spider Tortoise, scientifically named Pyxis arachnoides (Testudinidae), with the typical, attractive spiders-web pattern that adorns the shell.  
Both species are endemic to Madagascar, and are currently classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
In both cases, available information indicates that the two species have disappeared entirely from about 40% of its past range through a combination of habitat loss and exploitation, predominantly for domestic consumption. 
References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]
Photo credit: ©peace-on-earth.org | Locality: Île Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha), Madagascar (2007)

libutron:

Critically Endangered Tortoises of Madagascar

On top is the Radiated Tortoise, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises, whose carapace up to 40 cm long is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the center of each dark plate of the shell (hence its common name). This “star” pattern is more finely detailed and intricate than the normal pattern of other star-patterned tortoise species.

In the bottom you can see the smaller Spider Tortoise, scientifically named Pyxis arachnoides (Testudinidae), with the typical, attractive spiders-web pattern that adorns the shell.  

Both species are endemic to Madagascar, and are currently classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

In both cases, available information indicates that the two species have disappeared entirely from about 40% of its past range through a combination of habitat loss and exploitation, predominantly for domestic consumption. 

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©peace-on-earth.org | Locality: Île Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha), Madagascar (2007)

The threat of traditional medicine:

China’s boom may mean doom for turtles

by Erin Crandall

For thousands of years turtles have been used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Originally published in the journal Radiata and recently republished HerpDigest David S. Lee and Liao Shi Kun write, “[In Chinese culture] turtles are symbolic of long life, personal wealth, fertility, strength, and happy households.”

Despite a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating a causative link between turtle consumption and medicinal benefits, many people in China believe they provide benefits such as maintaining youthful beauty in women and improving sexual function in men.

Because of these beliefs and their symbolic importance, turtles have been highly sought after for more than 3,000 years. However, in recent years, China’s economy has changed in a way that has become increasingly threatening to the country’s wild turtle populations…

(read more: MongaBay)

photos: Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata), critically endangered -  by Torsten Blanck; Reeves’ turtle (Mauremys reevesii) by O’Shea et al.

The Asian leaf turtle, Cyclemys dentata, is a species of turtle found in Southeast Asia. They are quite common in the pet trade, and because of this (as well as other factors), their numbers have decreased in the wild. It is an omnivorous species that will feed upon anything from vegetation, fish, insects, worms and even scavenge on carcasses.photograph by Bruce Rhind 
(via: 1stopbrunei Wildlife)

The Asian leaf turtle, Cyclemys dentata, is a species of turtle found in Southeast Asia. They are quite common in the pet trade, and because of this (as well as other factors), their numbers have decreased in the wild. It is an omnivorous species that will feed upon anything from vegetation, fish, insects, worms and even scavenge on carcasses.

photograph by Bruce Rhind

(via: 1stopbrunei Wildlife)

Zoo Helping Reintroduce Rare California Turtle Species
by Chris Jennewein
The San Diego Zoo is working with state and federal scientists to reintroduce a rare turtle species into a local ecological preserve and monitor their progress via tiny radio transmitters.
Five juvenile western pond turtles were released into the Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve on Thursday by a team of federal, state and zoo scientists. The turtles are part of a “headstart” program which involves raising hatchlings at the zoo to a large enough size to give them a chance of fending off natural predators.
The turtles are sporting miniature radio transmitters applied with a flexible silicone sealant, which allows the young turtles’ shells to grow and expand, even with the transmitter device attached to it…
(read more: Times of San Diego)
Photograph by Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo

Zoo Helping Reintroduce Rare California Turtle Species

by Chris Jennewein

The San Diego Zoo is working with state and federal scientists to reintroduce a rare turtle species into a local ecological preserve and monitor their progress via tiny radio transmitters.

Five juvenile western pond turtles were released into the Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve on Thursday by a team of federal, state and zoo scientists. The turtles are part of a “headstart” program which involves raising hatchlings at the zoo to a large enough size to give them a chance of fending off natural predators.

The turtles are sporting miniature radio transmitters applied with a flexible silicone sealant, which allows the young turtles’ shells to grow and expand, even with the transmitter device attached to it…

(read more: Times of San Diego)

Photograph by Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo

Reptile Robbery: Why Poachers Are Wiping Out Ontario’s Turtles
International pet collectors have devastated all eight turtle species in the Canadian province.
by John R. Platt
Ontario’s once plentiful turtles are rapidly disappearing as poachers grab the reptiles for sale on the international pet trade market.
Some turtle populations in the province have completely vanished over the past decade. “My turtles are gone,” Jacqueline Litzgus, a spotted turtle researcher, told the The Canadian Press last week.
Most of the turtles end up for sale in pet shops in Asia and Europe, even though international trade in many turtle species is illegal, said Eric Goode, founder and president of the Turtle Conservancy.
“I went to Tokyo in 2002 and did a survey looking for endangered turtles and other reptiles and animals,” he said. “I was shocked. North American turtles were in all the pet stores.”…
(read more: TakePart)
photograph by Kevin Stohlgren

Reptile Robbery: Why Poachers Are Wiping Out Ontario’s Turtles

International pet collectors have devastated all eight turtle species in the Canadian province.

by John R. Platt

Ontario’s once plentiful turtles are rapidly disappearing as poachers grab the reptiles for sale on the international pet trade market.

Some turtle populations in the province have completely vanished over the past decade. “My turtles are gone,” Jacqueline Litzgus, a spotted turtle researcher, told the The Canadian Press last week.

Most of the turtles end up for sale in pet shops in Asia and Europe, even though international trade in many turtle species is illegal, said Eric Goode, founder and president of the Turtle Conservancy.

“I went to Tokyo in 2002 and did a survey looking for endangered turtles and other reptiles and animals,” he said. “I was shocked. North American turtles were in all the pet stores.”…

(read more: TakePart)

photograph by Kevin Stohlgren

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Narrow-bridged Musk Turtle
The small and agile narrow-bridged musk turtle (Claudius angustatus) is endemic to southern Mexico and northern Central America. Its relatively large head has very powerful jaws and pointed beak making it well adapted for its varied diet. An opportunistic carnivore, it eats all kinds of accessible prey types including fish, frogs, newts, snails, earthworms, insects and larvae. With its long neck and hooked lower jaw, the narrow-bridged mud turtle is a formidable hunter! 
Photo by James Harding
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Narrow-bridged Musk Turtle

The small and agile narrow-bridged musk turtle (Claudius angustatus) is endemic to southern Mexico and northern Central America. Its relatively large head has very powerful jaws and pointed beak making it well adapted for its varied diet. An opportunistic carnivore, it eats all kinds of accessible prey types including fish, frogs, newts, snails, earthworms, insects and larvae. With its long neck and hooked lower jaw, the narrow-bridged mud turtle is a formidable hunter!

Photo by James Harding

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles
by Jean Bonechak
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.
The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.
“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.
Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.
The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…
(read more: Morning Journal)

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles

by Jean Bonechak

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.

The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.

“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.

Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.

The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…

(read more: Morning Journal)