Founded and sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day takes place on 23rd May annually. It’s purpose is to celebrate the of existence of turtles and tortoise’s, raising awareness of the dangers they face to encourage people to take action to protect them and their disappearing habitats around the world.
Why should you care about World Turtle Day and what makes it significant?
Almost 70% of the turtles that are alive in the world today are endangered – this is the result of a few factors.
The first being the illegal trafficking and smuggling of these beautiful creatures. Many turtles and tortoises are sold off as pets or rendered for medical and food purposes, which boosts the economy especially for Eastern and South-Eastern Asian markets.
In addition to this, the second threat to turtles are a variety of man-made issues. Destruction of the habitat turtles’ live in are in major threat; rivers and seas are polluted with toxic plastics causing adults to die off at alarming rates. Turtles are likely to become trapped in and even eat the plastic found in the sea, as food sources are disappearing because of pollution. Hatchlings can also get caught in the plastic on the beach and are often eaten by predators.
So how can you help stop this and celebrate World Turtle Day?
You can actively make a change by donating money to the many turtle preservation charities and rescue organisations around the world, who are focused on their protection and conserving their habitats. Another major effort are “turtle walks” which involve collecting turtle eggs and relocating them to safer places. When the eggs hatch, volunteers guide the hatchlings to the sea to ensure they aren’t eaten crossing the beach.
However if you can’t get too hands on, make sure you are raising awareness and using the hashtag #WorldTurtleDay. Make conscious efforts to recycle your plastic more effectively, or use less plastic! It’s all about the little things that help not just humans but all species.
You could even throw a turtle themed party or hunt down cute pictures of turtles on the internet and place them all over your home or the office.
Which ever way you plan, we’d love to see your celebrations so be sure to upload your videos to Newsflare and let’s #Shellebrate!