World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date23 May 2024
2025 Date23 May 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 importance of protecting turtles and tortoises, as well as their habitats. The day serves to educate the public about the role these reptiles play in our ecosystems and emphasises the need for conservation efforts to help mitigate the decline in turtle populations worldwide. Turtles have been on earth for over 200 million year and are facing various threats such as loss of habitat, pollution, climate change, and illegal trade.

The history of World Turtle Day traces back to its inception in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, a non-profit organisation founded in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. The United Kingdom has a significant role in international wildlife trade regulations and conservation efforts. Some native species to the UK, such as the European pond turtle, are facing extinction.

In the United Kingdom, various activities are organised to celebrate World Turtle Day, including educational workshops, fundraising events, and conservation projects. Participants take part in beach clean-ups, attend talks and presentations, and engage with conservation organisations to promote the protection of turtles and tortoises. World Turtle Day is observed annually on May 23rd. This day provides the UK and the global community an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and contribute to the preservation of these essential reptiles.

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 UK is home to various species of turtles, including the green sea turtle, the loggerhead turtle, and the leatherback turtle. These turtles can be found in various locations around the UK, including the Cornish coast, the Channel Islands, and the Scottish coast.

Top things to do in the UK 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.
  • Visit a local aquarium, such as SEA LIFE London Aquarium, The Deep in Hull, or the National SEA LIFE Centre in Birmingham, where you can learn about turtle species and their conservation.
  • Take a trip to the London Zoo: The ZSL London Zoo is home to several species of turtles and tortoises, and they often host special events or activities focused on turtles for World Turtle Day. Check their website for the latest information.

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