World Turtle Day! The American Tortoise Rescue (http://www.tortoise.com)
has officially sponsored World Turtle Day every May 23rd since 2000 in
order to garner respect and support for turtles and tortoises around the globe.
As Texans, we are privileged to share our land and shores with a huge diversity
of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday,
Iíll be presenting a list of the top ten ways you can help our chelonian
neighbors survive and thrive across the Lone Star state, one tip a day for the
next ten days. |
|A 257 lb Loggerhead
sea turtle recovering from amputation of her left front flipper at the Turtle
Hospital in Marathon, FL. Her flipper had become entangled in a lobster trap pot
line and was too damaged to be saved. |
1. Throw away
your trash in a garbage can and pick up any trash you findÖeven if itís not yours.
beverage six-pack plastic rings, fishing line, and ropes can entangle terrestrial
and aquatic turtles, causing strangulation, shell deformations, amputations, infected
wounds, inability to swallow leading to starvation, or reduced mobility causing
increased susceptibility to predation. Jellyfish-loving Leatherback, Loggerhead,
Green, Kempís Ridley, and Hawksbill sea turtles mistakenly gulp plastic bags and
balloons, leading to slow deaths from starvation and infection. Large helium balloon
releases are nothing more than potential sea turtle massacres drifting across
the sky. Carelessly tossed fishing tackle turns into hook-filled meals for hapless
water turtles attracted to their bait-y smell and/or enticing, colorful shapes.
An ornate box turtle normally attracted to naturally-produced carrion may ingest
the wrapper encasing a half-eaten hamburger tossed along the roadside, leading
to at best an upset digestive tract and at worst a fatal impaction.
litter in your work and play surroundings will not only ensure the health and
safety of turtles, but will also create a better environment for other wildlife
and humans alike. After all, who wants to dodge plastic water bottles during a
romantic stroll on the beach, or pull up one of those infamous Trilene fish while
casting for trophy bass, or have their cattle field fencing festooned with countless
tattered plastic bags?
See Top ten ways Texans can help our turtles
1 - 2 -
3 - 4
- 5 - 6
- 7 - 8
May 23, 2011
"Animal of the Month" Series