Thursday, March 13, 2014

Donations Needed to Track Turtles

In order to know how to best help green sea turtles evade extinction, we need to know where they go and what they do.  In order to learn that, we need to attach satellite transmitters to rescued, rehabilitated, and released turtles.  Unfortunately, each one costs $4,000 on top of the already expensive price tag on nursing them back to health and more concerned donors will need to open their pocketbooks if we are going to be able to afford the knowledge we need.  Please help if you can!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Baby Sea Turtle Secret Hideout Located

Baby sea turtles take their walkabout for the first seven to twelve years of their life, remaining separate from the adult population.  It was previously a mystery where they disappeared to during this time, but one scientist has solved the puzzle - they are just trying to stay warm and grow stronger faster.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Video of Tortoises and Turtles Gone Wild

This isn't the most informative video Pokey and I have shared about turtles, but the commentary did make us laugh.  We hope it brightens your day!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Turtle Canyon Exhibit Opens Soon at Newport Aquarium

Have you heard?  An awesome new turtle exhibit is about to open at the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky.  They will feature 14 species of turtles and tortoises, including some of the largest and smallest in existence, with native habitats that span the globe.  I told Pokey it seems a bit strange for a Californian to vacation in Kentucky, but she thinks I should go check it out and make sure her brothers and sisters are happy... and maybe get a few ideas for how I might transform her indoor cage into something more authentic while I'm there. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle LEGOs

So... you may have heard that there's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out later this year, but did you know that LEGO will be releasing some new sets in its honor?  We just heard. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sea Turtle Conservation vs. National Marine Fisheries Service

Four sea turtle conservation groups recently announced their intention to file a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service for inadequately protecting sea turtles from the dangers of shrimp trawling.  They feel the NMFS has violated the Endangered Species Act and have given them far longer than the appropriate amount of time to respond to less powerful objections to their complacency.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Smuggler's Wages

Have you ever wondered how much a turtle smuggler can earn?  Pokey and I have and we finally found a figure.  We are certain the price varies, but two men in Taiwan were recently caught with 5 tiger cubs, 312 water monitors, 174 turtles, and 11 softshell turtles that were on their way to China.  Their job was to transport the loot from Ayutthaya to Bung Kan and their income was 20,000 baht (just over $600), less than $1 per smuggled soul for each smuggler.  We wish there was a Starbucks they could work at instead. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Etsy Item of the Week: TMNT Poster

Young or old, if you are a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this is is a stylish way to show your pride!  Visit tkbdesigns on Etsy today to get yours.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Three Years Probation for Turtle Distribution?

The sale of turtles with shells measuring less than four inches has been illegal since 1975, but what happens if you break that law and get caught?  Not much.  One Florida man was recently prosecuted for doing just that and impersonating a federal agent (in a threatening letter he sent one of his competitors), yet he got off with three years probation.  There's no mention of any fines.  Do they really think his attorney's bill and further inconveniences are enough of a punishment?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cobra II Saves Pig Nose Turtles

What is Cobra II?  The code name for a world wide sting operation which rescued more than 2,000 pig nosed turtles from a premature death last month as smugglers tried to get them from Indonesia to China.

Where are the turtles now?  They were just released back into the wild!  Hooray!!
lobal wildlife enforcement sting operation code-named - See more at:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Turtley Awesome Etsy Store: Mossy Tortoise

Stegosaurus Turtle Cozy by Mossy Tortoise

Where can you buy your turtle or tortoise something cute to wear to help them stand out in the wild or the pattern to crochet them something cozy yourself?  From Katie Bradley of Mossy Tortoise on Etsy.  I swore I was going to make Pokey one of these, but haven't... yet.  (I'm currently using the excuse that I can't decide what type of flower to adorn her with.)  However, if you buy one from Katie, 10% of your purchase will benefit the International Reptile Rescue in Canby Oregon and the rest towards the tortoises she rescues and rehabilitates.  Pokey thinks that's a win-win purchase every turtle lover should indulge in.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Volunteers Needed to Clean Up Turtle Habitat

If you have some free time between between now and mid March which you would like to use to help turtles, consider volunteering at Biscayne National Park in southern Florida. For the low, low cost of a day cleaning beaches, you get a sunny boat ride to the islands and the satisfaction of knowing you helped restore threatened turtle nesting grounds.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Are There Any Animals Who Don't Enjoy Tortoise Hitchhiking?

As if their shells aren't enough weight to keep them in shape, animals of all types and sizes love to hitch a ride whenever possible.  Check out this compilation of reptile hitchhikers to get a taste of their plight.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival

Are you looking for a turtley awesome way to contribute to marine conservation while having a good time?  Make plans to attend Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, April 12th and 13th.  Hank Williams Jr., Train, Sheryl Crow and many other artists will be there to reward you for choosing philanthropic entertainment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Legally Harvesting Marine Turtles

Despite the fact they are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, 42 countries around the world continue to allow the harvest of marine turtles.  It is currently estimated that over 40,000 turtles are legally taken from the ocean every year.  While Pokey and I are sympathetic to these countries' right to preserve a historic cultural practice, we wonder if they realize that over consumption is just as capable of ending their tradition.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Where to See Sea Turtles in Florida

If you're trying to figure out where you can see sea turtles in their natural habitats in Florida, you need to visit this site.  They list all the captive turtle facilities and public turtle watches in the state!  Pokey and I think it's a turtley awesome resource.

Friday, February 21, 2014

You Don't Have to Be an Artist to Draw This Turtle

Before you say you can't draw a turtle, try the Muffalo Potato way!  They draw everything using familiar shapes you've 'drawn' many, many times before - numbers and letters.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Save Turtles Sand Sculpture

If you're an artist capable of making beautiful sand sculptures who comes across a dead sea turtle while walking down the beach, what can you do to counteract the sorrow it might procure?  Create a hauntingly beautiful image with a proactive message of course!  At least, that is what Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik did... 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mail Order Turtles

Pokey and I were disturbed by this video for multiple reasons:

  1. Quality packaging was never meant to be part of a turtle's existence.
  2. The new owner seems like he is in no rush to situate the little hatchlings into their new homes.  What turtle lover greets their new baby and then sticks it back into plastic tupperware to hang out for a bit while they finish shooting a video?
  3. At least two, if not all three, turtles fail to meet the federal regulation which states that they must be at least four inches in size before they can be sold.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Giant South American River Turtles Hatch in Mass

When Pokey and I read stories like this one, where 15,000 of 210,000 hatchlings were marked and released in Brazil, several questions come to mind.  One, how do they mark these turtles "so they [can] be easily identified in future surveys" without hurting them?  Two, is the 'mark and recapture' process more traumatic when experienced in your first day(s) of life?  Three, in a country that doesn't regulate the consumption of turtle meat or eggs, should we be focused on studying the other threats to the species or lobbying to institute restrictions on the most obvious source of harm? 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Etsy Item of the Week: Succulent Turtle

Pokey and I have seen some pretty amazing turtle sculptures, but none were as full of life as this one.  Get yours now from Windmill Floral Design on Etsy.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Trapping Snapping Turtles in NY

I thought that governments endowed the title of Official State Reptile to encourage locals to help ensure the species survived and received the honor it deserved for peacefully sharing its land with us as we devour their habitats.  Well, either the snapping turtles of New York have started torturing the human residents, or the fact that they hold this title never meant a thing.  It was already legal to shoot a snapping turtle with a shotgun or long bow (in NY) and now there is a proposition to make trapping snapping turtles legal as well.  I wonder what unfortunate reptile is in line for the position next...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Turtle Crafts and Games

If you're looking for a way to teach or learn about turtles and have fun at the same time, check out Sea Turtle, Inc.'s activity page.  In addition to the craft activities you might expect to see at such a site, they offer a turtle themed crossword, word search, and two 'scavenger hunts'.  Adults who haven't studied herpetology their whole lives may even find the games challenging them to learn new facts. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Amateur Herptologists Give Turtles Their Sun Room

Pokey is looking forward to the day when her mom has a large enough dwelling to move in some of her friends.  She loves to hear stories about couples like Jay and Bonnie Mendez, a couple with a passion for turtles.  This school food service director and library director couple gave up their sun room for their herpetology collection.  They now have nine different turtles, both box and river species.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Etsy Item of the Week: Turtley Awesome Flare

It looks like one of Pokey's favorite sayings is now available on a button!  So, if your boss forces you to wear 37 pieces of flare, we hope this is one you could wear with pride.

Visit Button Munch's Etsy shop to get your own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Most Caymanians Don't Eat Turtle Meat

According to an online poll, many Caymanians don't eat turtle meat.  The sadder part of this news is that the comments imply that many of them avoid it because they don't approve of the conditions at the local turtle farm.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Louisiana's Michelangelo

A rare, two-headed slider turtle, formerly known as Salmon and Ella has recently moved to a new zoo and received a new name.  The staff at Zoosiana thought children would be more attracted to the little guys if their names were Michael and Angelo.  Pokey and I think that's adorable.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rosario Dawson's Turtle Joke

Perhaps you were already in love with Rosario Dawson due to her acting career, but did you know that her favorite joke is about turtles?  I just found out.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Loggerheads Hatching in Queensland

At Mon Repos Conservation Park in in Queensland, last year's hatchlings were badly beat down by Cyclone Oswald, but this year they are facing only the usual mountain of risks.  The thousands of loggerhead eggs laid on the beach have begun to hatch.  Let's hope that more than the usual .001% survive to help make up for last year's losses.

Freezing in Florida

Everyone knows that the polar vortex had dumped an unusual abundance of winter upon parts of North America.  What many don't know is that the sea turtle population is also suffering due to the harsh season.  Green sea turtles living in the Florida panhandle seem to have been hit the hardest as they are unable to self-regulate their body temperature as effectively as other ocean dwelling mammals.  Dozens of in-shock and deceased turtles were found on the beach after the most recent storm.  If you are in Florida and stumble upon a suffering sea turtle, please call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922 to give them their best chance at survival.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fisherman Survives Thirteen Months Adrift At Sea

Although I know it is part of the native cuisine in many countries, I am opposed to the idea of eating turtle meat since the species is endangered.  Should the population be spurred by a rapid growth rate, I could concede to allowing countries where the meat was first cherished historically to enjoy a limited supply.  Until then, it will take stories like this one, where a fisherman was found alive after 13 months adrift at sea, to make me say (while cringing), "How fortunate that he was able to fortify his health by catching and eating turtles."