This turtle with a green mohawk is one of the most endangered reptiles in the world

April 12, 2018 by  
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It’s not every day you see a turtle with a mohawk – even if that mohawk is made up of algae and not hair. The Mary River turtle is eye-catching for this stylish feature, and it is also known as a butt-breather, or a reptile that can breathe through its genitals. But this unique animal is now ranked 29 out of 100 on the Zoological Society of London ‘s EDGE of Existence Program , a list of vulnerable reptiles . According to an article from herpetologist Rikki Gumbs, the Mary River turtle can breathe through organs in its cloaca — an ability that allows the turtle to remain underwater for as long as 72 hours. Gumbs is also a lead author on a recently published PLOS One study that, according to The Guardian , highlights that reptiles such as the Mary River turtle are in trouble. According to Gumbs, “Intense historical collection for the pet trade, combined with habitat disturbance in its tiny range, mean this species is threatened with extinction .” We launched our #EDGEreptiles list yesterday, and the #punkturtle Elusor macrurus has stolen the show with its algae mohawk and unique ability to breathe through its genitals! Read more about the Mary river turtle here: https://t.co/CLfd355DQT pic.twitter.com/TYhZPyWveT — EDGE of Existence (@EDGEofExistence) April 12, 2018 Related: Turtle hatchlings spotted on Mumbai beach for the first time in nearly 20 years The freshwater turtle lives in Queensland , Australia in — as you might have guessed — the Mary River.  EDGE  explained yet another reason why the turtle is so distinct: “The only species in its genus, the Mary River turtle diverged from all other living species around 40 million years ago. In comparison, we split from our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, less than 10 million years ago.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature  also lists the Mary River turtle as endangered on its Red List. EDGE said it takes a long time for the reptiles to reach sexual maturity; they don’t breed before age 25. Dam construction is one key factor in their decline. The organization said conservation programs are now in place to protect the species. Other striking turtles that made the top 10 list include the Cantor’s giant softshell, which is among the largest freshwater turtles in the world; the pig-nosed turtle, whose nose says it all; and the Roti Island snake-necked turtle, “one of the 15 most endangered turtles worldwide.” + Top 100 EDGE Reptiles + Top 10 Most Amazing EDGE Reptiles + Mary River turtle + PLOS One Via The Guardian Image courtesy of Chris Van Wyk/Zoological Society of London

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This turtle with a green mohawk is one of the most endangered reptiles in the world

Turtle hatchlings spotted on Mumbai beach for the first time in nearly 20 years

March 30, 2018 by  
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Plastic and trash used to pile five feet high in some spots on Versova Beach in Mumbai , India, but in 2015, local lawyer Afroz Shah launched what the United Nations described as the “world’s largest beach cleanup project” — and people recently spotted Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings there. The Independent and The Guardian said it’s the first time turtle hatchlings have been glimpsed on the beach in years. Week 127 . Fantastic news for Mumbai . We got back Olive Ridley Sea Turtle after 20 years. Historic moment Nested and Hatched at our beach. We facilitate their journey to ocean. Constant cleaning helps marine species. Marine conservation centre needed at @versovabeach pic.twitter.com/j79xCKamNh — Afroz Shah (@AfrozShah1) March 22, 2018 Around 80 to 90 turtle hatchlings recently crawled towards the sea at Versova, guarded by volunteers who The Guardian said slept in the sand to protect the baby turtles from birds of prey or dogs. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies Olive Ridley turtles as vulnerable , and they may not have been born at this Mumbai beach for almost two decades. Related: Tiny treadmills for turtle hatchlings help scientists evaluate their stamina Scientist Sumedha Korgaonkar, who’s finishing a PhD on Olive Ridley turtles, told The Guardian it is possible small amounts of the animals nested on the beach in the past; she can’t be sure because “regular patrolling for turtle nests is not done in Mumbai.” However, she added, “Beach cleanups definitely have a positive effect on nesting turtles.” Yes yes .. We did it .. Thank you Afroz . Here is the journey . lovely Mumbaikars . we did . Urban cities getting our olive Ridley turtle back . pic.twitter.com/vg4ZJe5cTk — Clean Up Versova (@versovabeach) March 22, 2018 Shah has been leading volunteers to clean up the 5,000 tons of trash at Versova for more than two years. Around 55,000 people reside near the beach, and Shah started by offering to clean up communal toilets and picking up waste on his own. He told The Guardian, “For the first six to eight weeks, nobody joined. Then two men approached me and said, very politely, ‘Please sir, can we wear your gloves?’ Both of them just came and joined me. That’s when I knew it was going to be a success.” Shah’s effort flourished into a national movement; everyone from slum dwellers to politicians to school children to celebrities has joined in. UN Environment head Erik Solheim said in a 2017 press release , “What Afroz Shah has achieved on Versova beach is nothing short of remarkable. These 100 weeks of hard work and determination by Afroz and countless volunteers goes way beyond dealing with a local crisis. This has inspired what is becoming a nationwide and global movement to turn the tide on plastic and waste.” Via The Independent , The Guardian , and UN Environment Image via Wikimedia Commons

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Turtle hatchlings spotted on Mumbai beach for the first time in nearly 20 years

Tiny treadmills for turtle hatchlings help scientists evaluate their stamina

December 20, 2017 by  
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When baby sea turtles are born, within their first 24 hours they make the journey from nest to ocean . The trek which should take a few minutes sometimes lasts hours in urban settings where artificial light can disorient the hatchlings. Two Florida Atlantic University (FAU) scientists employed wee treadmills and little swimsuits to dig into the turtles’ swimming performance after crawling for so long – and they were surprised by what they found. Speed is crucial for turtle hatchlings, who face dangers on their way to the ocean. Their survival “depends heavily on their ability to swim,” according to FAU. But in urban settings, excess light from streets and buildings can draw the babies away from the ocean and towards land – where they might get run over by traffic, drown in a pool, or be eaten by a predator. Biological sciences associate professor Sarah Milton said in a statement, “What prompted our study was the desire to understand what happens to these hatchlings after they spend hours crawling on the beach because they are disoriented. We wanted to know if they would even be able to swim after crawling 500 meters or more, which could take them as long as seven hours to complete.” Related: Police Officer Saves Nearly 100 Baby Sea Turtles in Florida Milton and graduate student Karen Pankaew conducted what FAU described as the “first study on disorientation to examine the physiological effects of extended crawling and swimming performance.” They gathered 150 hatchlings from 27 loggerhead and 18 green turtle nests in Palm Beach County, Florida . The hatchlings walked on tiny treadmills before swimming in a tank in a specially designed swimsuit. The scientists measured oxygen consumption, lactate accumulation, and swimming breathing and stroke rates. Field studies supplemented laboratory observations. The hatchlings were placed into the ocean in their natural habitats shortly after collection. The study results completely surprised the researchers, according to Milton, who said, “We were expecting that the hatchlings would be really tired from the extended crawling and that they would not be able to swim well. It turned out not to be the case and that they are in fact crawling machines. They crawl and rest, crawl and rest and that’s why they weren’t too tired to swim.” She also said the study offers a scientific basis to back up lighting ordinances during hatching season. The Journal of Experimental Biology published the study in November. Via Florida Atlantic University Images via Pixabay and Jay Paredes

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Hundreds of sea turtles found dead near El Salvador

November 9, 2017 by  
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Why did hundreds of sea turtles perish near El Salvador ? The country’s ministry of environment and natural resources found 300-400 dead turtles in Jiquilisco Bay, so they took samples to try and determine why the animals died. National Geographic floated fishing and algal blooms as two reasons for the sea turtle die-offs. Around 300 to 400 sea turtles died near El Salvador, according to MARN . Locals began seeing the turtles the end of October; MARN announced the die-off on Twitter in early November. Several turtle species reside in the area, but so far it looks like ridleys have been the species most hit. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies ridleys as vulnerable. Related: Unusually high number of humpback whale deaths prompts NOAA inquiry A red tide , or harmful algal bloom, led to turtle deaths in El Salvador in 2006 and 2013. Turtles can die after ingesting the blooms. But it’s not yet clear if a red tide caused these deaths. On November 3, MARN said they collected samples from seawater and the turtles’ tissues, and also took blood samples from a living turtle. The fishing industry has been to blame for turtle deaths in the past during shrimp trawling, as turtles can get caught in the nets. But a month-long moratorium began October 17, so the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative ‘s Mike Liles said fishing probably didn’t cause the 300 to 400 turtles to perish. Liles did say the practice is still dangerous for the creatures. This recent event is one of the biggest turtle die-offs El Salvador has experienced. Liles said large-scale die-offs could just get more common as industrial agriculture runoff worsens red tides. Conservation Ecology Lab ecologist Alexander Gaos agreed and said more conservation programs are needed. Via National Geographic Images via MARN El Salvador on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Man caught smuggling 51 turtles in his pants pleads guilty

December 1, 2015 by  
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Is that a turtle in your pants or are you just happy to see me? Canadian Kai Xu just pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle 51 turtles across the border by stuffing and taping the turtles down his pants. Officials saw Xu disappear behind a semi-trailer and when he reappeared, they saw, “irregularly shaped bulges under Xu’s sweatpants on both legs.” A second man was also charged in the smuggling attempt after being caught at a Detroit airport with over 200 turtles in his suitcase. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of Man caught smuggling 51 turtles in his pants pleads guilty

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Man caught smuggling 51 turtles in his pants pleads guilty

This giant tortoise gets by with a little help from his friend

December 19, 2014 by  
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We all get into tight spots on occasion, and it’s at times when we’re particularly vulnerable that a helping hand from a friend is much appreciated. This giant Galapagos tortoise at a zoo in Taipei found himself in a bit of a pickle when he rolled over onto his back and couldn’t flip over on his own. Fortunately, his buddy was nearby and was able to help him out. Read the rest of This giant tortoise gets by with a little help from his friend Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: endangered , endangered species , flipped tortoise , galapagos , Galapagos tortoise , giant tortoise , giant turtle , Taipei zoo , tortoise , tortoise flip , tortoise flip over , tortoise on its back , tortoises , turtles

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This giant tortoise gets by with a little help from his friend

Man Arrested Attempting to Cross the Border with 51 Turtles Stuffed in His Pants

September 29, 2014 by  
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Is that a turtle in your pants or are you just happy to see me? Canadian Kai Xu was caught last month while attempting to smuggle 51 turtles across the border by stuffing and taping the turtles down his pants. Officials saw Xu disappear behind a semi-trailer and when he reappeared, they saw, “irregularly shaped bulges under Xu’s sweatpants on both legs.” A second man was also charged in the smuggling attempt after being caught at a Detroit airport with over 200 turtles in his suitcase. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of Man Arrested Attempting to Cross the Border with 51 Turtles Stuffed in His Pants Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: illegal turtle smuggling , illegal turtle trade , illegal wildlife trade , illegal wildlife trade fail , poaching , turtle border smuggling , turtle poaching , Turtle smuggling , turtle smuggling fail , turtle smuggling hamburger , turtle smuggling pants , turtle smuggling underwear , wildlife poaching , wildlife trade

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ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

September 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ADJKM , ADJKM Arquitectos , Caracas , CASMSB , concert halls , disadvantaged youth , Los Caobos Park , music complex , music conservatory , Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action through Music , Social Justice , venezuela

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ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

“Deafening” Sonic Cannons to be Used in New Oil Exploration Off U.S. East Coast

July 22, 2014 by  
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New offshore oil and gas exploration activities are set to start along the U.S. east coast after a three-decade hiatus, but a recent Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) decision means that companies will be allowed to use sonic cannons as they map the ocean floor. BOEM acknowledges that whales, dolphins and turtles will be affected by the potentially deafening noise , with its own estimates stating 138,000 marine animals are at risk. Read the rest of “Deafening” Sonic Cannons to be Used in New Oil Exploration Off U.S. East Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BOEM , bureau of ocean energy management , Carolina , delaware , dolphins , echolocation , endangered species , florida , georgia , noise pollution , North Atlantic right whale , oil and gas exploration , oil rigs , seismic airgun surveys , sonic cannon , sonic cannons approved for oil exploration off US East Coast , sonography , turtles , US East Coast , whales

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“Deafening” Sonic Cannons to be Used in New Oil Exploration Off U.S. East Coast

Green Sea Turtles are Ingesting Twice as Much Plastic as They Did 25 Years Ago

August 9, 2013 by  
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Green Sea Turtle photo from Shutterstock Green turtles are already endangered, and their lot seems to be getting worse. A new study conducted by the University of Queensland and published in the journal Conservation Biology shows that green turtles are significantly more likely to swallow plastic today than they were in the 1980s. The study found that the likelihood of a green turtle ingesting man-made trash jumped from about 30% to nearly 50% in 2012. It also confirmed that six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles have been found to ingest debris, and all six are listed as globally vulnerable and endangered . Read the rest of Green Sea Turtles are Ingesting Twice as Much Plastic as They Did 25 Years Ago Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: conservation biology , debris in oceans a global problem , endangered species , green turtles , man made trash in oceans , man made trash killing turtles , plastic in oceans , sea turtles , sea turtles ingesting plastic , shore clean up , University of Queensland        

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Green Sea Turtles are Ingesting Twice as Much Plastic as They Did 25 Years Ago

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