|Photo by Mike Yap|
Turtles in literature are symbolic of utter slowness. Nevertheless their being certain and patient is highly commendable. Add to that is their 200 million years of existence [1,2]. Quite a legacy of resilience, huh?
The celebration of World Turtle Day was initiated by the American Tortoise Rescue in May 23, 2000. Essentially, it aims to raise awareness in the status quo of turtles and encourage people to actively participate in their conservation. Ultimately, their purpose is to put a stop to illegal trading of turtles and tortoises around the world .
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), out of the 7 sea turtle species, 1 is classified as Data Deficient, 1 is Vulnerable, 3 are Endangered, and 2 are Critically Endangered . Of the 263 species of freshwater and terrestrial turtles, 117 are Threatened and 73 are either Endangered or Critically Endangered . Among the many serious threats that turtles face are the prevalence of illegal pet trade, habitat loss and degradation [2,3], egg poaching and meat consumption, incidental capture by gillnets, long lines, and shrimp trawling, plus overwhelming pollution and coastal developments [3,5].
Amidst all these, there is a growing hope for our turtles. There are many groups out there dedicating their lives to make sure that these special creatures are to be seen and appreciated by the next generations. We can be a part of this vision through refusing to buy turtles in pet stores, supporting turtle campaigns, starting a fund-raising activity, volunteering in research and rescue ventures, participating in policy-making, educating the young of the importance of turtles, or a simple gesture such as sharing interesting and informative turtle facts. Small but cumulative concrete ways can definitely make a huge difference.
We have substantial information on the 7 living sea turtle species. Feel free to visit us at SeaLifeBase. A Turtleriffic World Turtle Day to all the turtles out there!
 World Turtle Day May 23rd Every Year. http://www.ecology.com/2012/05/23/world-turtle-day/ [Accessed 5/21/2015].
 Happy World Turtle Day. http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/happy-world-turtle-day [Accessed 5/21/2015].
 Celebrate World Turtle Day. http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/turtles_tortoises/tips/celebrate_world_turtle_day.html?referrer=https://www.google.com.ph/ [Accessed 5/21/2015].
 The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 May 2015.
 Spotila, J.R. (2011). Saving Sea Turtles. The Johns Hopkins University Press.