Turtles Conference

Turtles are the oldest reptiles left on Earth, with the earliest species found to be almost 300 million years old. Today, many species need conservation help or they may not live to see the next century, reports a press release  from the Singapore Zoo.

turtle 3A four-day workshop involving international conservation groups and delegates happened last week at the Singapore Zoo, with the aim of setting the agenda for endangered Asian turtle conservation in the next decade.

The last meeting was held 10 years ago in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and this year’s meeting agenda included discussions about what has, and hasn’t, helped protect turtles and prevented extinction of the species.

The workshops included reports on the current status of turtle populations in different countries, an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Listing session on individual turtle species, and Trade Status Reports. An open forum on conservation priorities was planned for the end of the workshop for participants to discuss interesting ‘what if’ scenarios.

Human encroachment, combined with over-hunting and the illegal wildlife trade are the major threats to turtle populations that were discussed.

Trivia Tip: Although this article referred to all of them as turtles, the technical truth is that turtles generally live in the sea, while tortoises are land dwelling. Terrapins are found in fresh or brackish water.

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Alison Wheatley

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