It is so important to recognize that turtles and tortoises are long-lived animals, and therefore mature much like human beings (and in some cases they mature much more slowly than humans). When it takes an animal 15 year or more to be able to reproduce the loss of mature adults can be extremely devastating to populations - and that is often what leads to the decline of turtles and tortoises. They are often harvested for their meat, meaning that the largest individuals are usually targeted for poaching and meat trade which can reduced reproduction tremendously. Collection of animals for pet trade is also devastating, but not necessarily to the degree that poaching or death of adult individuals can be. I encourage everyone to show compassion to these creatures - especially with the frequency in which they cross roads. Stopping to move a turtle or tortoise from a roadway can have huge positive impacts on populations.
I wanted to take the time to highlight some of my favorite animals in need: turtles and tortoises. After my friend's took a trip to the Turtle Conservancy last year, the brought me back a 2018 publication of the most endangered turtles and tortoises of the world that was distributed by the Turtle Conservancy. It is that publication which I am basing this blog list off of. The species listed are not North American, but it could only be a matter of time until some of the turtles and tortoises of North America begin to make an appearance on lists like this one.
For More information on these tortoises and turtles please see the link below for the 2018 publication of "Turtles in trouble" put out by the Turtle Conservancy:
About the Author: Jenna is a graduate student at the University of Florida. Currently she is studying Wildlife Ecology and Conservation while working in south Florida to manage invasive animals. Jenna primarily works with the Argentine Black and White Tegu and other invasive lizards
The American alligator is a large reptile native to the southeastern united states Previously the American alligator was a federally listed endangered species. In the early 1900s the alligator was hunted close to extinction which brought it to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The hunting of these animals was prohibited, and their habitat was protected. In the 1980s the species had recovered enough to be removed from the endangered species list. Today, however, the large reptile is still protected due to its similar appearance to the American crocodile which is currently protected due to low population numbers (they are on the rise though!) Hunting of the American alligator is currently allowed, but it is regulated.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have statistics that show alligator attacks have actually increased from around 6 per year in 1971-1986 to around 10 per year from 1987-2017. This is likely due to human population increasing in the areas that alligators call home. Another source showed that human population was positively correlated with alligator attacks - more people, more likely the chance of an encounter. Humans also increase their chances of conflict by feeding alligaors (intentionally or unintentionally - throwing fish off the dock when alligators are present in the area can produce a similar association as feeding the gators), swimming in bodies of fresh water which gators are present in, allowing pets or children to play or drink from open bodies of fresh water, and generally approaching alligators fro photographs or not giving the animals space. The best way to mitigate conflicts with alligators are to simply leave them alone.
More information on American alligators can be found:
About the blog
Ferrets and Friends, LLC has four writers bringing you information on a variety of topics from pets to wildlife, education to conservation, and from new developments in our business to information about our industry. Learn something new each week!