Turtle Day – 23rd May, 2016 | Days Of The Year


wad

Turtle Day encourages you to discover the world of turtles and tortoises, and to learn how you can help to protect and help them to thrive. Some ideas include dressing up as turtles, saving turtles on roads, or getting involved in turtle research.

World Turtle Day
May 23, 2016 in the World

The World Turtle Day 2016 is on May, 23. The purpose of the observance is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Turtle Day is celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities. It is sponsored yearly since 2000 by the nonprofit corporation American Tortoise Rescue.

World Turtle Day was to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. Turtles are reptiles, characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade.

You can do a few small things that can help to save turtles and tortoises for the next generation. Never buy them from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild. Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured. If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going. Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter. (With material from: Wikipedia) The text “World Turtle Day” has been taken from www.cute-calendar.com

Sea turtles, which have been in existence for more than 100 million years, are under threat. Nearly all seven species worldwide are now classified as endangered, largely because of human activities such as poaching, the destruction of nesting sites and climate change, all of which is pushing turtles ever closer to extinction.

On World Turtle Day, marked on 23 May annually, campaigners are calling for better protection and conservation of the marine animals. So why are sea turtles under threat, and what can we do about it?

Shell trade

Turtles have been hunted for their shells, which are used to make jewellery and other items, for centuries. The distinctive, patterned shell of the hawksbill sea turtle means the species is under threat despite the shell trade being illegal. As a result, hawksbills are critically endangered.

Hundreds of turtles are accidentally captured in commercial fishing nets every year, which often leads to drowning. The WWF is working with fisheries to help reduce the number of turtles captured.

Climate change

Hawksbill Turtle
A hawksbill turtleGetty

Our changing climate has a significant impact on a turtle’s life, including the sex of the offspring. The warmer temperatures caused by climate change disrupt the normal sex ratios, resulting in more female hatchlings – which reduces reproductive opportunities and decreases genetic diversity.

Melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels erode the coastal habitats of sea turtles, shrinking the size of their nesting beaches.

Poaching

The international trade in all sea turtle species and their parts is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Despite this, sea turtles are harvested in a unsustainable way for human consumption, as well as the trade of their body parts and eggs as they are a source of food and income in many countries. They are also killed for traditional medicines.

Habitat loss

The destruction of nesting beaches as a result of tourism has had an extremely detrimental impact on turtles. The disturbance of nesting females can cause turtles to stop nesting entirely and return to the ocean. Coral reefs and seagrass beds, which provide feeding habitats for turtles, are being damaged as a result of tourist development, certain fishing techniques, climate change and more.

Keeping beaches clean and avoiding littering is key. Turning off beach lighting can help prevent nesting turtles from becoming disorientated, as nesting turtles and turtle hatchlings are guided by moonlight.

turtle
A green sea-turtle hatchlingGetty
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Turtle Day – 23rd May, 2016 | Days Of The Year

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: