2011 Year of the Turtle

Turtle conservation groups in partnership with PARC designated 2011 as the Year of the Turtle

Why Turtles, and Why Now?

Turtles are disappearing from the planet faster than any other group of animal. Today, nearly 50% of turtle species are identified as threatened with extinction. However, it’s not too late for our turtle heritage to be salvaged. The United States has more endemic turtle species than anywhere on Earth; a turtle biodiversity hotspot. Our careful stewardship can preserve the rare species and keep ‘common species common.’

Throughout the year, we will be raising awareness of the issues surrounding turtles through press releases, newsletters, photo contests, and related events. We believe that citizens, natural resource managers, scientists, and the pet and food and related industries can work together to address issues and to help ensure long-term survival of turtle species and populations.

Threats to US Turtles

The bad news is humans cause the largest harm to turtle populations, but the good news is we have the power to make positive changes toward turtle survival. The largest threats to turtle populations include (with the top 3 caused primarily by humans):

  • Habitat loss and degradation
  • Overharvest of wild turtles for food, traditional medicines, and pets
  • Mortality from roads, agricultural machinery, fishing bycatch, and predators
  • Invasive exotic species and diseases
  • Loss of unique genetic makeup due to hybridization
  • Climate change

2011 State of the Turtledownloadable pdfSpanish version – French version

Monthly Newsletter (Downloadable)

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Get involved in a citizen science program for turtles! View our list of programs that are available to the public HERE

Year of the Turtle Outreach and Education Resources

Year of the Turtle Partners

Meet our 2012 Year of the Turtle Partners