Updates from Mexico and South Africa

Updates from Mexico and South Africa

As seasonal rains have renewed the lush habitat at our Bolson Tortoise Reserve in Northern Mexico and our Geometric Tortoise Preserve in Western Cape South Africa, infrastructural improvements are ongoing to combat unique risks these rare and vulnerable tortoise populations face.


Slowly but surely we are reopening in California!

Slowly but surely we are reopening in California!

We are beginning to emerge from our shells! The TC campus in Southern California is planned to carefully reopen for small groups beginning November 1st. This experience is exclusive to donors and members. This is in conjunction with ongoing virtual tours and classroom experiences for those unable to travel…

Our new education program concludes its first semester

Our new education program concludes its first semester

The first semester of the Thacher School’s Field Biology and Conservation course at the Turtle Conservancy is almost over! This pioneering class is the result of an exciting collaboration with our neighbors - the Thacher School and educators Tommy Hattori and Heather Grant.

Rare Tortoise Hatches at Conservation Center

Rare Tortoise Hatches at Conservation Center

The Turtle Conservancy is excited to announce its first Impressed Tortoise hatchling since 2009. The Impressed Tortoise is quite difficult to manage in captivity and even more difficult to breed. Tortoises of the genus, Manouria, are the oldest forms of tortoises living today. The Impressed Tortoise is a good example of a species occurring localized across a very large geographical range...

Visit the TC's WCN Expo Virtual Booth

Visit the TC's WCN Expo Virtual Booth

Every year, Wildlife Conservation Network’s Expo welcomes people into the vast and thrilling world of wildlife conservation. But because this year has been a year like no other, WCN is offering the chance to choose your unique and wild adventure all from the comfort of your living room. Join us on Saturday, October 10th & 17th for a virtual opportunity to connect with wildlife champions from around the world.

Tour Our Conservation Center Virtually

Tour Our Conservation Center Virtually

The Turtle Conservancy is pleased to announce our new interactive virtual tour experience! Please join us via ZOOM at our beautiful conservation center for an exclusive opportunity to go behind the scenes of our giant tortoise habitat! This exciting and unique education program will allow you explore alongside our island dwellers as you and your family will be introduced to our Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises. Participants will learn about the diversity of two different species while engaging alongside a knowledgeable turtle guide...

The Tortoise Issue 9

The Tortoise Issue 9

This year’s magazine examines the turbulent times our environment continues to experience and how turtles fare in these times that are unprecedented for humanity, but that turtles have seen before. Political upheaval and de-regulation may be new to turtles, but having passed through the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs and so much more, they can persist in challenging times and take advantage of new opportunities. They found a pathway to evolve into the gigantic Stupendemys geographicus, featured in the Magazine. They found pathways into the hearts of artists and conservationists…

Stopping Zoonotic Diseases and Ensuring Planetary Health

Stopping Zoonotic Diseases and Ensuring Planetary Health

Turtle Conservancy founder, Eric Goode, joined a panel of experts organized by the Milken Institute to discuss Emerging Zoonotic Diseases and Planetary Health. Click the link to watch the recorded video and learn more...

Goodbye Dear Daphne

Goodbye Dear Daphne

It is with great sadness that the Turtle Conservancy reports that Daphne, our beloved ambassador Galapagos Tortoise, died on August 21, 2020 at age 53 from complications of heart failure. She had been ill for over a year, and failed to respond to medical treatment. Unfortunately, this condition is not uncommon in Galapagos Tortoises kept in captivity…

Turtles and Tortoises Are in Trouble: A New Paper in Current Biology

 
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Turtle Conservancy Executive Board member Craig Stanford and 50 colleagues have authored a scientific paper detailing the past and present causes of the rapid declines observed in turtle and tortoise populations around the globe. The authors identify patterns of human activity that pose the greatest risk to chelonian biodiversity loss and propose what must be done to mitigate these extinction risks.

SUMMARY:

Turtles and tortoises (chelonians) have been integral components of global ecosystems for about 220 million years and have played important roles in human culture for at least 400,000 years. The chelonian shell is a remarkable evolutionary adaptation, facilitating success in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Today, more than half of the 360 living species and 482 total taxa (species and subspecies combined) are threatened with extinction. This places chelonians among the groups with the highest extinction risk of any sizeable vertebrate group. Turtle populations are declining rapidly due to habitat loss, consumption by humans for food and traditional medicines and collection for the international pet trade. Many taxa could become extinct in this century. Here, we examine survival threats to turtles and tortoises and discuss the interventions that will be needed to prevent widespread extinction in this group in coming decades.

 
 
 

Shelter in Place T-Shirt

Shelter in Place T-Shirt

By buying this t-shirt, you are acknowledging your love for the original "shelter-in-place" creatures. Turtles have been sheltering in place for over 220 million years! Unfortunately, their shells don't protect them from roads, habitat destruction, or poaching. Did you know turtles are the most threatened group of vertebrates on the planet? 100% of the profits from this shirt goes directly to the 501c3 non-profit the Turtle Conservancy.

Sign Our Petition to Stop Poaching of Native Turtles!

Sign Our Petition to Stop Poaching of Native Turtles!

The United States has a wildlife trafficking crisis closer to home than most people realize: native turtles are disappearing from lands and waters and ending up in the hands of poachers across the country.

For those who are witnessing this crisis first hand—conservation professionals, biologists, and wildlife law enforcement officials—there is a consensus that immediate action is needed to prevent the removal of native turtles from the wild before irreversible damage is done to both rare and more common species, from Bog Turtles to Box Turtles. The U.S. is a global biological hotspot for turtles, home to 57 species, including some that only live here.

My Mission To Save Wildlife After The 'Tiger King'

Dear Supporters,

In these challenging times, the Turtle Conservancy is still pursuing our mission and vision, thanks in part to all of your past support. We continue to care for the rescued animals at our conservation center in Ojai and manage our international wildlife preserves.

As you may know, I recently produced and directed the Tiger King series on Netflix, a personal journey that started with the investigation of the wildlife trade. It evolved into an exposé, documenting unsavory aspects of the tiger industry and roadside zoos in America. I witnessed the plight of not only captive tigers, but also that of wild animals around the world. Making the series reaffirmed my conviction that protecting wildlife along with their ecosystems is one of humanity's top priorities.

As COVID-19 demonstrates, our future is inextricably linked with nature. The more stressed ecological systems become, the more humans become the targets of emerging disease, unbuffered by the vast array of species in a healthy ecosystem. It's time to end the exploitation of nature that increases our exposure to pathogens jumping from animals to humans, threatening our survival.

Many years ago I founded the Turtle Conservancy to help protect wild land and save one of the most endangered groups of animals on the planet, turtles and tortoises. I remain a fervent believer in our motto: "Save Turtles, Save the Planet." We have already lost 50% of all life on Earth in the past 40 yearsTo help reach our goals, my fellow Tiger King filmmakers and I pledge $2 million to stop wildlife trade and protect critical habitat. Of course this is just a start, we will need much more funding to realize this vision. Please join me on this special Giving Tuesday to bolster our support. Your tax-deductible donation to the Turtle Conservancy will support habitat protection and our partners, including Endthetrade.com.

We are currently pursuing additional land purchases to expand our on-the-ground field conservation programs in South Africa and Mexico. This will protect several endangered turtle and tortoise species and all biodiversity they coexist with (including several wild cat species). We continue to fight against the wildlife trade by rescuing confiscated animals at our conservation center and support our overseas partners.

In these surreal times, I hope we recognize our impact on nature and our role within it. I send my wishes that you and your family stay healthy during this trying time. 

Warmly,

 
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Eric Goode

Remembering Peter Beard

Remembering Peter Beard

Some have proclaimed Peter Beard died how he lived - completely wild. The American adventurer, photographer, and artist who braved the African wilderness to showcase it to the world died this month at the age of 82. Beard was renowned for his death-defying photographs of elephants, crocodiles and other creatures. He was found in the Montauk wilderness on Long Island, New York after being missing for 19 days…

A Chronicler’s Observations on Time and Place and the Future

A Chronicler’s Observations on Time and Place and the Future

I met Peter Beard over 30 years ago when our paths crossed both at his home at the end of Montauk Long Island and in New York City’s late-night watering holes. Born and raised in New York City, Peter, now 76, splits his time between New York City, Montauk, and his beloved ranch in Kenya…

End the Trade

End the Trade

The global trade in wild animals has produced the conditions for disastrous and deadly pandemics, including COVID-19. To prevent the next pandemic, the Coalition to End the Trade is calling for the permanent end to the commercial trade and sale in markets of terrestrial animals (particularly birds and mammals), especially for consumption. Global Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WildAid are launching this coalition to implement key strategies that seek to end this trade…

Support Conservation Centers, Aquariums, and museums through the shutdown

Support Conservation Centers, Aquariums, and museums through the shutdown

Help us urge Congress and the White House to include non-profit organizations that support public nature and STEM education in COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Legislation! As an AZA-certified facility, we host thousands of children and families every year at our center and field programs. We also educate millions of people worldwide online and through social media. This work can only continue through this shutdown by voicing your support!

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