Let’s all ‘Shell-ebrate’ World Turtle Day this May 23rd!
Research Intern Saskia with a baby green turtle on a previous volunteer project/ Saska van Dongen
As I’m sure you already know, here at Sea Watch we love to talk about and share pictures of our Cardigan Bay Monitoring Project’s focus species such as dolphins, porpoise and whales. However, although these are the focus of our work here at Sea Watch Foundation, our staff and volunteers have soft spots for all other animals too, and we try to raise awareness for other great species and organisations where possible!
This week is no different, as on the 23rd May we will join in with the celebrations of the 17th annual World Turtle Day® and hope you will join us! Whether you have heard of this day before or not, it is worth getting involved in no matter how much you know about the range of turtle species- you could be an scientific expert, a turtle pet owner, or just love watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- I’m sure we can all find a place in our hearts for these cute and cool creatures. In this blog post, we will share just what World Turtle Day® is, about the organisation where it all began, and 10 cool facts about turtles to help show why we love them!
What is World Turtle Day?
The first thing to know is that although often mistaken as they can look very similar, Turtles and Tortoises are two very individual groups of animals. Don’t worry about your favourite missing out though, as this day is dedicated to celebrating both, which is another amazing reason to support the cause! World Turtle Day® was originally founded by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) who are a non-profit organisation all about raising awareness of global Turtle and Tortoise species, most of which are currently under the threat of extinction due to pollution, habitat destruction, illegal pet trade, and hunting of their precious eggs.
World Turtle Day Poster from ATR/ American Tortoise Rescue
In-fact, many scientists research have led to the understanding that these creatures may not be around after the next 50 years if things carry on the way they are. This makes the work of the ATR even more important, and they therefore continue to organise World Turtle Day ® in addition to working to create and enforce legislation for Turtles and Tortoises and helps to provide safe homes for both species.
1. Turtles do not have teeth, they instead have a beak which they can nip and bite with!
Green turtle shell from which scutes shed from/ Saskia van Dongen
2.Turtles and tortoises shed their ‘scutes’ which are hard scales on their shells. This is like snakes and other reptiles as shedding scutes happen as they grow!
Hawksbill turtle swimming around/ Isabel Griffiths
3. Tortoises and turtles can live up to 100 years or sometimes more!
How to Get Involved
Big or small, if you are having fun it doesn’t matter how you get involved but here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Contact your local marine wildlife centre, aquarium or other establishment and work together to find a way that you can get involved in having a great day focussing on Turtles and Tortoises
- Get in touch with ATR to get involved in activities within your local area or if there is none, why not have a go at setting up your own?
- Like parties? Why not throw a turtle inspire party using the ATR World Turtle Day ® Party Pack that can be accessed for free here http://bit.ly/1YwebJR
- Or Visit https://www.worldturtleday.org/ for more ways to help!
Article written from the point of view of Research Intern Chantelle Green. Chan is shaving her head to raise money for the foundation THIS FRIDAY! Please support her GOFUNDME here. We still need to reach her target!
Did you enjoy this article? You can follow Chan’s personal blog here.