World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateMay 23, 2024
2025 DateMay 23, 2025

World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day in
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World Turtle Day History

World Turtle Day seeks to raise awareness about the overall importance of turtles and tortoises, with a particular emphasis on their conservation. Created by the American Tortoise Rescue, it aims to foster education regarding the vital ecological roles these creatures play, while highlighting the pressing challenges they face due to habitat loss, pollution, and illegal trade. This day also encourages people to participate in activities and events that celebrate turtle diversity and promote their well-being.

World Turtle Day was established in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a non-profit organization headquartered in California. ATR recognized the significant decline in turtle populations in America and around the world, thereby initiating this observance. In the United States, many states have turtle species listed as threatened or endangered. The United States is home to more turtle species than any other country, making America uniquely positioned to influence the success of global turtle conservation efforts. As such, World Turtle Day has significant relevance for the America populace.

In commemoration of World Turtle Day in America, various activities are held across the country, including educational workshops, beach clean-ups, turtle-themed events, and advocacy campaigns. Schools, environmental groups, and wildlife organizations often take part, teaching the importance of turtles and encouraging actions to protect their habitats. Some individuals showcase their passion for these animals by wearing turtle-themed clothing or participating in fun run events. World Turtle Day is observed each year on May 23, providing an opportunity for all to champion the cause of these important and endearing creatures.

World Turtle Day facts

  • Female turtles often return to the same beaches where they were born to lay their eggs.
  • All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Tortoises are exclusively land animals.
  • The leatherback turtle holds the record for the longest migration among reptile. These turtles travel from nesting sites in the Pacific to feeding areas in the Atlantic.
  • The American Tortoise Rescue gives the following tips on helping turtles and tortoises:
    1) Never buy from a pet shop
    2) Report sales of animals less then four inches
    3) Don't remove them from the wild
    4) Report illegal sales or cruelty to animal control
    5) Help tortoises cross the road by carrying them to the other side, but don't try to turn them around as they'll go back on the road
  • Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise, holds the verified record for longest-lived known tortoise. He lived to be 189 years old.

Top things to do in the US for World Turtle Day

  • Volunteer to help save turtles. Here's a list of different programs you can take part in.
  • Watch this short animated video detailing the challenges infant sea turtles go through.
  • Watch a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie or episode. The first movie from 1990 is a fan favorite.

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