Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grant Money to Help Save the Turtles

Do you have or know of a turtle project that needs funds?  Well...   now is the time to apply for a grant!  I received the information below in an email from the Turtle Conservation Fund a few days ago.  Sorry I'm lagging on posting it.  Pokey tried to bite me last night to get me to stop procrastinating...  which is why I did it the second I got home today!  The turtles of the world need our help and the oh-so-kind Turtle Conservation Fund is here to help fund your effort.  Thank you TCF for all that you do!  Pokey sends along her love too.

Next Proposal Deadline: 1 May 2011

A Partnership Coalition of Leading Turtle Conservation Organizations and Individuals
Strategic Action Planning and Funding Support for Conservation of
Threatened Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles
Conservation International • International Union for the Conservation of Nature / Species Survival Commission / Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group • Turtle Survival Alliance • European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Shellshock Campaign • Chelonian Research Foundation • Chester Zoo • Fort Worth Zoo • Asian Turtle Program • Wildlife Conservation Society • Behler Chelonian Center / Turtle Conservancy • Chelonian Research Institute • Humane Society International - Australia
TCF Board:
Hugh R. Quinn, Co-Chair (
Anders G.J. Rhodin, Co-Chair (
Gary Ades; Chris B. Banks; Kurt A. Buhlmann; Kevin R. Buley; Antone Cadi; Bernard Devaux; Eric Goode; Douglas B. Hendrie; Brian D. Horne; Rick Hudson; Gerald Kuchling; Richard Lewis, Susan Lieberman; Luca Luiselli; George Meyer; Russell A. Mittermeier; Vivian Páez; Hans-Dieter Philippen; Colin Poole; Peter C.H. Pritchard; Martina Raffel; Walter C. Sedgwick; Peter Paul van Dijk; Henk Zwartepoorte


The Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF) administers a turtle conservation and research grants program. Awards are granted to organizations or individuals for specific conservation or research projects dealing with tortoises or freshwater turtles, but not marine turtles, with either partial or full support as funding allows. Awards at the present time are approximately in the $2000 to $5000 range per project, with occasional funding up to $10,000.
Priority for funding is given to projects that focus on species that are already highly threatened (Critically Endangered) as determined by the IUCN Red List ( 
TCF’s highest priority species targeted for funding are listed below.
We welcome proposals for the conservation of species other than those listed, provided a convincing rationale is included why the species’ conservation status merits funding from the TCF.
Award recipients enter into contractual agreement with one of our partner organizations (Conservation International, Chelonian Research Foundation or EAZA Shellshock Campaign) to produce the proposed work.  Award recipients are also encouraged to publish at least partial results of the supported research in the international scientific turtle journal, Chelonian Conservation and Biology, published by TCF Alliance Partner Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF;
For further information and application guidelines go to
Turtle Conservation Fund
Priority Species List

Species included in this list are Critically Endangered (CR) or proposed as CR (by IUCN Red Listing Workshops).  Listed exceptions include Elusor macrurus (Mary River Turtle) (Endangered), and Terrapene coahuila (Coahuilan Box Turtle) (Endangered).

Apalone spinifera atra  (Black Spiny Softshell Turtle, Cuatro Cienegas Softshell Turtle)
Astrochelys radiata  (Radiated Tortoise)
Astrochelys yniphora  (Ploughshare Tortoise, Angonoka)
Batagur affinis  (Southern River Terrapin)
Batagur baska  (Northern River Terrapin)
Batagur borneoensis  (Painted Terrapin)
Batagur kachuga  (Red-crowned Roofed Turtle)
Batagur trivittata  (Burmese Roofed Turtle)
Chelodina mccordi  (Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle)
Chelonoidis (nigra) abingdonii  (Abingdon Island Giant Tortoise)
Chelonoidis (nigra) duncanensis  (Duncan Island Giant Tortoise)
Chelonoidis (nigra) hoodensis  (Hood Island Giant Tortoise)
Chitra chitra  (Asian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle)
Chitra indica  (Indian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle)
Chitra vandijki  (Burmese Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle)
Cuora aurocapitata  (Yellow-headed Box Turtle)
Cuora bourreti  (Bourret’s Box Turtle)
Cuora glabinifrons  (Indochinese Box Turtle)
Cuora mccordi  (McCord’s Box Turtle)
Cuora pani  (Pan’s Box Turtle)
Cuora picturata  (Southern Vietnam Box Turtle)
Cuora trifasciata  (Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle, Golden Coin Turtle)
Cuora yunnanensis  (Yunnan Box Turtle)
Cuora zhoui  (Zhou’s Box Turtle)
Dermatemys mawii  (Central American River Turtle)
Elusor macrurus  (Mary River Turtle)
Erymnochelys madagascariensis  (Madagascan Big-headed Turtle)
Geochelone platynota  (Burmese Star Tortoise)
Glyptemys muhlenbergii  (Bog Turtle)
Gopherus flavomarginatus  (Bolson Tortoise)
Heosemys annandalii (Yellow-headed Temple Turtle)
Heosemys depressa  (Arakan Forest Turtle)
Leucocephalon yuwonoi  (Sulawesi Forest Turtle)
Manouria emys (Asian Giant Tortoise)
Mauremys annamensis  (Annam Pond Turtle)
Mauremys mutica (Yellow Pond Turtle)
Mauremys nigricans  (Red-necked Pond Turtle)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Turtle's Tale

Have you seen A Turtle's Tale yet? If so, please tell me what you thought in the comments section. While I'm sure that Sammy could never surpass Nemo's place on my top movies list, I am hoping A Turtle's Tale is more true to the sea turtle's plight but fun enough to draw an audience.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super Turtle

I was amazed to learn today that there was a cartoon character in the 1960s named Super Turtle.  There's an interesting story about Super Turtle and Supermam here on Big Shiny Robot.  It seems plausible that Superman overshadowed his terrapin counterpart making him frustrated, selfish, and looking for fame and gratitude.  But, you'll just have to click on over to see if that scenario is actually true.  I can't believe Super Turtle appeared in so many scenes and I never knew he existed! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sea Turtles Eat Plastic

I've found a lot of good articles this week which Pokey wants me to get posted, but haven't had much time.  However, we were able to agree that this article, "One Sea Turtle's Worth of Plastic" should be mentioned first.  You have probably already heard how much plastic ends up in the ocean each year, but did you know that sea turtles end up eating it on accident?Sometimes it gets intertwined with the plankton and algae that makes up their normal diet.  Sometimes it gets mistaken for actual food on the ocean floor.  Either way, it is pretty crazy motivation for me to use less plastic when I see pictures like this.  I hope it is for you too!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Conclusion of Pokey vs. New Zealand

by Rachel Hoyt

Image by kongsky via

Pokey started talking to me again this morning and, as often happens after a bout of silence, she had sincere wisdom to share with me.  She admitted she was jealous and didn't want any other animal or insect to rank above her on the coolness pyramid.  I comforted her the same way men comfort us ladies... "Oh Pokey dear.  Don't be silly.  No one could ever take your place." and gave her a kiss on the nose.  Unfortunately, when it was Pokey's turn to speak, the bottom line was revealed.  The fact is, I don't have enough money to buy a plane ticket at the moment.  My designated travel savings consists of a jar full of change interspersed with a few dollar bills of different denominations.  Despite the fact that there are some very affordable package deals available, I don't have enough yet.  But, if anyone would care to bribe a writer with an all inclusive trip, I am avaialable... assuming I can get the time off work...  I can tell the world about your country through letters to Pokey or using my rhyming poetry.  For now I'll just have to dream of the Jaffa Roll, building my own spa at hot beach, and seeing creatures that have lived since the time of dinosaurs... and get back to writing about turtles instead of my crazy conversations with Pokey... unless, of course, you want those to continue too...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pokey vs the Nga Manu Nature Reserve

by Rachel Hoyt

All photos in this post are courtsey of Jim McIntosh of Holes in My Soles.  No reuse without permission.

I wrote yesterday about an argument Pokey and are having about whether or not I should travel to New Zealand soon.  She recognizes that not all areas of the island were harmed by the Christchurch earthquake, but had thought I would visit a certain person in Christchurch whenever I did make it to New Zealand.  I, however, am completely swept up in the Blog4NZ worldwide blogosphere event and can hardly think of anything other than traveling to New Zealand.  So, today I continued my debate with Pokey using information about other extremely rare animals to entice her.

My friend Jim at Holes in My Soles sent me some photos from the Nga Manu Nature Reserve and the place looks amazing!  It is one of those places where I want to pack a picknick lunch (and maybe dinner too) so I can just sit and watch the animals because I know how lucky I am to be in their presence.  Some animals are so rare that most of the world will never see them in real life.

First I showed Pokey The Tuatara.  Sometimes called a "living fossil" this reptile has been around since dinasour times and is only found in New Zealand.  Pokey agreed the Tuatara sounded pretty cool and perked up slightly when I told her they were both members of the reptile family.  My hopes of winning her approval rose slightly.

Then Pokey saw the pictures of the eels and her mother's creepy smile as she thought about feeding them...

Then came the photo of a Weta.  What's that, you ask?  An insect that has been around since before the dinosaurs.  I think it looks a little scary, but interesting here.  I've never been a girl to freak out about seeing a bug before.  Yet, after a bit further research, I learned this particular insect took out the rat population in New Zealand.  I'm not sure if I should be frightened of them or tempted to bring one back to the U.S.?  Obviously I wouldn't actually bring one, but which is the normal human response to a giant insect?

 Pokey was a little upset by how much these creatures enticed my curiosity.  So, although I'm convinced she did see the value of a trip to view such a unique country, she is now giving me the silent treatment.  She stomped off into her log cave for the day and won't come out.  I guess we'll have to continue the conversation tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pokey vs New Zealand Travel

by Rachel Hoyt
Image by Federico Stevanin via

Hey there readers.  Pokey and I have been having a little argument. I've been trying to tell her that I want to promote tourism in New Zealand as part of a worldwide blogosphere event - Blog4NZ - but she just won't stand for it.  Pokey claims that she never knew anything happy about New Zealand until we read about the Turtle Lady a few weeks ago.  Now Pokey wants me to promise I won't go there until the Turtle Lady has recovered from her losses.

I know what you're thinking.  Pokey can't talk.  Well, you are right, but she and I communicate telpathically.  Sure, I may be interpreting, as I have no training in telepathic communication, but the way that she looks at me says it all.  She knows; and she knows that I know that she knows.  So, she tells me things.

My argument is this: I haven't taken an exciting trip in a really long time and there are so many fun things to do in New Zealand.  Not all areas of NZ were affected by the earthquake, you know? They have 14 national parks there!  I can visit a glacier and build my own spa at the hot beach on the same trip.  Why would my dear beloved pet want to deprive me of this pleasure?!

This post was written for Blog4NZ.  Please tweet it using #Blog4NZ to show your support!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sea Turtle Mural in Hollywood

I got really excited when I first saw this headline: High over Hollywood, Sea Turtles. I thought I might have a new piece of turtle art relatively close by, but the mural is going up in Florida. It makes sense. They have more endangered turtles living there than in L.A., but I'm selfish. I want to see Sea Turtles when I travel to smell-a. It would make getting stuck in traffic much more pleasant.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

1951 Duck and Cover Film with Bert the Turtle

I'm a little young to have seen this video before.  It's sorta cute, so long as you aren't currently facing a nuclear bomb threat.  Either way, Pokey and I thought Bert deserved a little shout out for helping to teach a very important lesson.  We would also like to thank Simon Hunter for posting the video on his blog.  Without him, we may never have met Bert! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project

The list of places I want to travel to in has just grown by one: Dubai.  Did you know they have a turtle rehabilitation project there?  A big one.  (Yeah.  Me neither.)  Founded in 2004, they began taking in sick sea turtles, mostly endangered hawksbills.  Apparently the season during which they frequently wash up on the shore sick is winter. In 2008 they received, on average, 20 turtles per season.  So far this year they have taken in 210 sick sea turtles.  The scientists believe the turtles are suffering from lack of food. It seems they are hesitant to state why, but either they are starving themselves or it is because sea sponges and jelly fish are scarce due to the disappearance of coral reefs.  One point for global warming; negative 1000 for life on earth.  I don't think there are too many anorexic turtles swimming around the ocean.  What?  You think they watched Finding Nemo and became jealous of Crush's sleek appearance?  Get serious. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ornamental Box Turtles Seized

Customs officials in India seized 400 live ornamental box turtles from a man who tried to smuggle them in from Singapore on Sunday.  I (obviously) think keeping turtles as pets is fun, but I am not ok with people smuggling them to new locations just to give someone the opportunity to have a pet turtle.  Despite the stoic, "you can't hurt me" image turtles seem to have, they can be quite fragile.  If not provided with the proper care (food, water, temperature and germ control), they will most certainly not live their full life span.  I cannot imagine that being packed in a suitcase, thrown around by baggage handlers, and stuffed in the bottom of an airplane is good for their health.  Also, I am not certain I believe those box turtles were truly intended to be pets.  To take a risk like that, one must be looking to make top dollar... and I believe that selling them for food still pays more.  (Don't worry, I covered Pokey's eyes and ears so she wouldn't have to know that fact.  She might sink into major depression if she knew how popular turtle soup has become.)

Turtle Craft of the Day

Oh how I wish I had more free time!  I hardly find time to crochet these days, but I would still REALLY like a copy of this pattern to keep around for that random day in the future when I'm ready to make a little crochet baby pokey.  SO CUTE!!!  Visit bvoe668's shop on etsy to purchase this or other cute crochet animal patterns... monkeys and kangaroos and more.  Oh my!   

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tsunami Turtles

Baby Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Photo by Contemporary

As you may have guessed, sea turtles were gravely affected by the tsunami that hit Japan.  Sea turtles live near the shore and surface often for oxygen, making them quite likely to get swept inland by a tsunami. 
On top of casualties from the sea, an effort to breed the endangered olive ridley sea turtle also took a big blow when 20 of 30 breeding sea turtles were swept away.  It saddens me to think that this natural disaster could harm so many humans and also possibly cause the extinction of a species.

SeaWorld's 1000th Rehabilitated Sea Turtle

SeaWorld Orlando's marine animal rescue facility reached an exciting milestone this week.  They released their 1000th rehabilitated sea turtle back into the wild!  Way to go turtle savers!!  This loggerhead looks pretty excited to go ride the current once again...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Snappy Turtle

My friend Jessica has shown me a most interesting turtle related photo. Apparently there is a clothing store in Florida called Snappy Turtle. The clothes look quite nice, stylish, but I don't understand the name. As Jessica says... A turtle couldn't wear anything in that store. There sure as heck better not be any turtle shell jewelry in their either. I might be tempted to leave them a live snapping turtle surprise if there was!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Terrified Turtles

Cheers to Donna, the turtle lady. She was watching over 40 turtles at the time of the Christchurch earthquake. After enduring the destruction of their aquariums and an interim period of plastic tub and shared tank time, the turtles are now on the way to their new home in Napier! Pokey and I salute the turtle lady for her amazing rescue efforts. She has already begun taking in new turtles at her home. Busy, busy, busy...
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Tracking Sea Turtles

While I am mildly excited to think of the things we could learn about the swimming patterns of a sea turtle through the experiment outlined in this article, I'm not sure how I feel about the tracking device they are using.  Is it ok to glue something onto a back of a sea turtle?  How do we know the glue is safe and won't seep into their pores through the shell?  Thankfully, the article states that they swam as if nothing was on their backs, so that calms me a little, but...  well, what do you think? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turtle Humps

A blogging friend of mine sent me this video yesterday.  The noise this turtle makes is hilarious!  Plus, he is sticking out his tongue the whole time.  I hope it gives you a good laugh to brighten your day. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peek-A-Boo Turtle

Lisa's turtles were playing peek-a-boo with her again today. Go visit our softshell friends. They're cute!
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Etsy Turtle Favorite

Photo courtesy of apmemory.  Visit her shop on Etsy.

Pokey said it was time to feautre another crafter, so I traveled to etsy to see what we could find.  HOW CUTE IS THIS MAGNET?!?!  Dr. Pepper is my favorite soda, so there is really no better recycled can you could use to make me a turtle.  I may have to snatch this one up just because the price is so affordable!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ooblek could have saved the turtles?

I've just learned that one scientist did extensive research on how to plug the BP oil spill, concluded and suggested that ooblek (a cornstarch mixture used to make kids play dough could stop the BP oil leak. Unfortunately his ideas were dismissed and he was kicked off the advisory board, so I guess we'll never know if the ocean could have been spared this catastrophe.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Sea Turtle Photo Mystery Solved

Once upon a time, a very cute sea turtle photo graced my desktop.  I kept it up for about a year because the look on the turtle's face was priceless.  It had come to me through some random forwarded email, so I assumed it was photo shopped or something.  Today the mystery has been solved.  According to this article, it is a picture of a baby loggerhead being released into the ocean for the very first time!  No wonder the little dude looked so happy!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Dedication

Jessica of Finding One's Way has started a new Thursday blogging event to encourage bloggers to tell others about their favorite blogs and... she dedicated the first one to Rachel and Pokey! Come read for a while...
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