20 sea turtle nests have so far been found on South Padre Island and Boca Chica Beach! The first nest is estimated to hatch the week of June 9th. For more information about attending a public sea turtle hatchling release…
The Western Painted Turtle can survive the whole winter without breathing, and now researchers know why.
When researchers recently sequenced the turtle’s genome, they found that its ability to withstand complete oxygen deprivation (anoxia) and partial freezing is associated with networks of genes common to vertebrates.
Transcriptomic analysis revealed 19 genes in the brain and 23 in the heart in which expression is significant increased in low-oxygen conditions, including one that was expressed almost 128 times as much as normal. “This is a back-door route for turtles to evolve,” coauthor Patrick Minx of The Genome Institute at Washington University in St Louis said in a press release. “Rather than evolve new genes, they adapted existing genes for new uses.”
Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are an endangered species that lives in the Gulf of Mexico.
The only time a sea turtle will come out of the water is to lay eggs or their sick. This sea turtle mama is laying her eggs on South Padre Island. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the smallest of the five sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners with an nonprofit organization, Sea Turtle Inc, for the protection of all sea turtles. Majority of the sea turtles that nest on South Padre Island are the Kemp’s ridley.
Two male Texas Tortoises (Gopherus berlandieri) get they scrap on over some territory and females, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, southern Texas, USA. The Texas tortoise is a threatened species.
A rare albino green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) swims in a tank at the Sea Turtle Reserve Centre in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka. The centre collects turtle eggs from the beaches for hatching before poachers remove them as they are considered a delicacy. Once hatched the small turtles are let free in the sea. (2010)
Tortoise Trafficking Raging Out of Control in Madagascar
Conservation groups urge authorities to clamp down on black market trade
WCS Press release
Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,000 individual tortoises have been seized from would-be smugglers.
Illegal trafficking of two critically endangered tortoise species from Madagascar has reached epidemic proportions, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Turtle Survival Alliance, Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, Turtle Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and other groups who urge authorities to clamp down on wildlife smuggling before some species are collected out of existence.
According to the groups, more than 1,000 radiated and ploughshare tortoises have been confiscated from smugglers in the first three months of 2013 alone. In late March, 54 ploughshare tortoises made it as far as Thailand before being seized by authorities. A recent report by TRAFFIC states that the radiated tortoise is now the most common tortoise for sale in Bangkok’s infamous Chatuchak wildlife market.
The groups say that since the beginning of Madagascar’s continuing political crisis in 2009, smuggling has increased by at least ten-fold due to weak governance and rule-of-law. In addition, erosion of cultural protection of the tortoises for short term monetary gain has contributed to their sharp decline. In the past, tortoises were protected by “fady” – a local belief that harming the tortoises is taboo. However, with years of drought and increasing levels of poverty, people from regions outside the tortoise’s natural range, who do not practice these types of fady, are capturing and illegally selling tortoises…
Extremely rare turtle discovered in Buffalo Bayou, Houston, TX
Brad Woodward reporting
At the Texas Wildlife Center, they are bursting at the seams with refugees from the recent storm.
“Whenever there’s a big storm we get a lot of squirrels, birds and possums, because they blow out of the trees,” said volunteer Pat Booher.
Among these common creatures we encounter every day, there’s one at the center that we don’t.
“When I first heard the report, I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ And when we saw all the distinctive characteristics, we’re like, ‘It is an alligator snapping turtle,’” said the center’s executive director, Sharon Schmalz…
Green Sea Turtles Use Protected Areas, Study Finds
by Douglas Main
If you protect it, they will use it. Green sea turtles do actually make use of protected areas to nest and feed, according to a study that tracked female turtles that came ashore to lay eggs in Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park.
Until now, it wasn’t clear where these green sea turtles went after nesting and how much they might use nearby reserves. In this case, the animals spent much of their time in the nearby Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary eating sea grasses and algae…