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)

After being stuck inside most of the day, because of the rains, I got to take the kids in my North American Wildlife camp outside today for a post-rain hike, in the park where I work in Houston, TX. Amongst other cool animals, we encountered this gorgeous male Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis) walking amongst the fallen leaves under a live oak. He’s got to be one of the biggest Three-toed box turtles I’ve seen in years. :3

TSA Turtle Tuesday:  The Arrau or Giant River Turtle
The giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa) is the largest river turtle in South America, with males reaching nearly 200 pounds! 
The large, aquatic species has a wide distribution and can be found in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. Known to be strong swimmers due to their size and powerful limbs, they are able to traverse deep rivers with strong currents. Their broad, dome-shaped shell allows them to be streamlined and move efficiently through the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers where they are found. 
 Photograph by Camila Ferrara
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday:  The Arrau or Giant River Turtle

The giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa) is the largest river turtle in South America, with males reaching nearly 200 pounds!

The large, aquatic species has a wide distribution and can be found in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. Known to be strong swimmers due to their size and powerful limbs, they are able to traverse deep rivers with strong currents. Their broad, dome-shaped shell allows them to be streamlined and move efficiently through the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers where they are found. 

Photograph by Camila Ferrara

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

cool-critters

cool-critters:

Mata mata (Chelus fimbriata)

The Mata mata is a freshwater turtle found in South America, primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It is strictly an aquatic species but it prefers standing in shallow water where its snout can reach the surface to breathe. The appearance of the mata mata’s shell resembles a piece of bark, and its head resembles fallen leaves. The mata mata is carnivorous, feeding exclusively upon aquatic invertebrates and fish, which it has to swallow whole, since it cannot chew due to the way its mouth is constructed.

East Coast Beaches Labeled Critical for Loggerheads
by Jim Waymer
Federal regulators plan to designate more than 700 miles of beach from North Carolina to Mississippi — including most of Brevard Count, Florida’s shoreline, as well as large swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico — as “critical habitat” for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.
The rule would have little effect on most beachfront property owners or fishermen, federal officials say.
But in some cases, people who look to build or repair certain seawalls will face additional scrutiny from wildlife officials to ensure the walls do not harm critical loggerhead habitat.
And fishermen worry stricter rules will one day result…
(read more: Florida Today)
photo: Craig Rubadoux/florida today

East Coast Beaches Labeled Critical for Loggerheads

by Jim Waymer

Federal regulators plan to designate more than 700 miles of beach from North Carolina to Mississippi — including most of Brevard Count, Florida’s shoreline, as well as large swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico — as “critical habitat” for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.

The rule would have little effect on most beachfront property owners or fishermen, federal officials say.

But in some cases, people who look to build or repair certain seawalls will face additional scrutiny from wildlife officials to ensure the walls do not harm critical loggerhead habitat.

And fishermen worry stricter rules will one day result…

(read more: Florida Today)

photo: Craig Rubadoux/florida today

The charismatic and Critically Endangered Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) has become extremely rare due to its popularity in the illegal pet trade. 
Even before it was fully described to science it was so over collected that the trade was prohibited in 2001 due to its rarity. The only hope for the small remaining populations are conservation programs like the Turtle Conservancy’s breeding center and preserving the last remaining populations in the wild on its home island in Indonesia. 
Find out more about their work here:
Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center

The charismatic and Critically Endangered Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) has become extremely rare due to its popularity in the illegal pet trade.

Even before it was fully described to science it was so over collected that the trade was prohibited in 2001 due to its rarity. The only hope for the small remaining populations are conservation programs like the Turtle Conservancy’s breeding center and preserving the last remaining populations in the wild on its home island in Indonesia.

Find out more about their work here:

Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center

Researchers lure Manitoulin Island turtle predators with decoy

Researchers at Laurentian University are hoping a fake turtle will shed some light on a mystery on Manitoulin Island, ON, Canada. 

Jackie Litzgus, a biology professor at Laurentian University, said a decoy Blandings Turtle will be used to determine which predators might be killing these endangered turtles.

Last year dozens of dead turtles were discovered near Misery Bay on Manitoulin Island.

Litzgus said the most likely culprit is some kind of predator. By using a turtle decoy, along with game cameras, researchers hope to capture video of what may be killing the turtles…

(read more: CBC News)

photos by Laurentian University and Markus Schwabe/CBC

turtleconservancy
turtleconservancy:

We are proud to announce the hatching of our third Mexican Spotted Turtle (Rhinoclemmys rubida rubida) at our conservation center.
The conservation status of this species from Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico, was last evaluated by the IUCN in 2007. They concluded that the available information was insufficient to determine its risk of extinction. The Turtle Conservancy believes this species is in danger because of local human impacts in the region.
#TurtleConservancy #Mexico #conservation #turtle #tortoise #hatchling #cute #babyanimals #rare #wildlife #nofilter

turtleconservancy:

We are proud to announce the hatching of our third Mexican Spotted Turtle (Rhinoclemmys rubida rubida) at our conservation center.

The conservation status of this species from Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico, was last evaluated by the IUCN in 2007. They concluded that the available information was insufficient to determine its risk of extinction. The Turtle Conservancy believes this species is in danger because of local human impacts in the region.

#TurtleConservancy #Mexico #conservation #turtle #tortoise #hatchling #cute #babyanimals #rare #wildlife #nofilter