• A varied selection of recent articles, stories and sites on the Web that is compiled by Michael J. Connor, Ph.D.
  • The links are listed as published in the relevant issue of the Tortuga Gazette.
  • Please note that all links were functioning when posted. My apologies if any are no longer available. Disabled links are present for informational purposes.
  • Click Turtle Net Picks to suggest a Net Picks addition.

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Tortuga Gazette 54(1) | January/February 2018

Peter Pritchard Awarded Archie Carr Medal
This year’s winners of the prestigious Archie F. Carr Medal are his former students Peter Pritchard and Karen Bjorndal. Congratulations from CTTC to both!

Long Beach Sea Turtle Release
A rehabilitated green sea turtle was released close to where it was found at the mouth of the San Gabriel River in Long Beach.

What To Do If You Find a Stranded Sea Turtle
This article on “what to do if you find a stranded sea turtle in Oregon” also applies to California. Be sure to check out the maps at the end that show turtle movements off California.

El Salvador Sea Turtle Die-off
As many as 300 to 400 deceased sea turtles were found off the coast of El Salvador in Jiquilisco Bay. The cause is as yet unknown but may be due to a red tide.

Down-Under Lizards Feasting On Turtle Eggs
Now that introduced European foxes have been controlled, yellow necked goannas – truly magnificent Australian monitor lizards – are taking first dibs at eggs in Loggerhead sea turtle nests.

Turtle Conservancy Turtles and Tortoises Evacuated
Tortoises and turtles from the Ojai Turtle Conservancy forced to evacuate ahead of the Thomas Fire are enjoying a relaxing vacation at their refuge in Atascadero City Hall basement.

Bolson Tortoise Habitat Protected
The privately-owned 43,243 acre Rancho San Ignacio in northern Mexico has been acquired by Rainforest Trust, Habio, A.C., and the Turtle Conservancy as a preserve to protect the Bolson tortoise, the largest and rarest species of Gopherus.

Evolution of Shell Shape in Galapagos Tortoises
New research comparing the abilities of domed and saddle-backed giant tortoises to right themselves when overturned finds that having a saddle-backed shell helps tortoises right themselves in rocky terrain.

Surveying Aldabra Tortoises
Seychelles Islands Foundation researchers have added distance sampling to the monitoring methods used to track giant tortoises on the Aldabra atoll.

Columbia’s Dahl’s Toad-headed Turtle in Dire Straits
The rare Dahl's Toad-headed Turtle, Mesoclemmys dahli, is threatened with extinction due to alarmingly small and fragmented populations and high levels of inbreeding.

Rhode Island Spotted Turtles at Risk
New survey indicates that spotted turtles are in trouble in Rhode Island.

Alligator Snapping Turtle Found in Illinois
Researchers found the first wild alligator snapping turtle seen in Illinois since 1984 while looking for a released head-started one!

Snapping Turtles Threatened By Harvesting
Research shows commercial harvest of snapping turtles is causing population declines.

Hibernating Painted Turtles Use Cloacal Respiration
That turtles can exchange gases across their cloacal mucosa is not new but that didn’t stop the media from having a field day touting how “butt-breathing” helps painted turtles survive Canadian winters!

Turtle Associated Salmonella Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control reported an additional 29 cases of Salmonella agbeni infection in people linked to contact with pet turtles, bringing the total to 66 cases from 18 states. Of 53 people with available information, 23 have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Tortuga Gazette 54(2) |
March/April 2018

Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in the Española Giant Tortoise
Biologists studying temperature dependent sex determination in Galápagos tortoises from Española (Chelonoidis hoodensis) also found sexual dimorphism in the hatchlings—male hatchlings had more large dorsal scales on their tails than did females.

Video - Spider Tortoises at Fort Worth Zoo Watch Madagascar spider tortoises at the Fort Worth Zoo with Seamus Ehrhard.

Video - Sexual Dimorphism in Red-bellied Turtles
Video explains the science behind why male and female turtles are different sizes.

Genetic Variation in Manouria emys
Biologists have published the first comparison of genetic and morphological variation in Manouria emys, the fourth largest tortoise species.

Green Sea Turtle Sex Ratios Altered by Climate Change
Rising beach temperatures have driven one of Australia's green sea turtle nesting colonies to produce largely females for the last 20 years.

Who’s Your Daddy Little Loggerhead?
Researchers identified the paternity of 989 loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from 51 nests on Sanibel Island in Florida and found they were the offspring of 126 distinct males!

Off-road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Economic analysis shows the benefits of restricting vehicles on the beach considerably outweigh the costs of enforcing the restriction.

Video: A Green Sea Turtle Named Ellie
Wonderful youtube TED talk from biologist Brendan Godley.

Video: Treadmills for Hatchling Sea Turtles
Hatchling sea turtles have more stamina than graduate students! :)

Appeals Court Backs Environmentalists Fighting Swordfish Fishery Expansion
A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed with the Turtle Island Restoration Network that the NMFS acted improperly when it increased the allowable take of Hawaii sea turtles by the longline swordfish fishery.

New Fossil Turtle From Algora, Spain
A recently discovered fossil turtle, Algorachelus peregrinus, may have migrated from Africa to Spain some 95 million years ago.

New Publications

Tortuga Gazette 54(3) | March/April 2018

Bangladeshi Elongated Tortoises in Trouble
Habitat destruction, herbicides, and witch doctors are all taking their toll.

Almeria Spur-thighed Tortoise Populations Seem Stable
Biologists in Spain’s Almeria province counted 25 tortoises in the latest survey.

April 10 Was Gopher Tortoise Day
Florida gopher tortoise “Grumpy Gertrude” tells all in this short piece from National Geographic.

Utah Politicians Determined to Build Highway Through Red Cliffs
Red Cliffs Desert Reserve was set aside as mitigation for urban sprawl on desert tortoise critical habitat in St. George, Utah, yet local politicians are determined to build a 4 lane highway right through the tortoise habitat!

New Alabama Musk Turtle
Turtle biodiversity in the southeast USA just increased!

Missouri Bans Commercial Trapping of Wild Turtles
Missouri banned commercial collection of the state’s wild freshwater turtles in response to a petition from Center for Biological Diversity and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.

“Royal Turtle” Nest Found in Cambodia
Recent find of a Batagur affinis nest containing 25 eggs marks the third nest found in Cambodia since 2016.

Mary River Turtle at High Risk
One of many media stories on Australia’s imperiled “butt breathing" punk turtle.

Sea Turtles Use Their Flippers to Manipulate Food
Monterey Bay Aquarium study finds that like terrestrial species, sea turtles use their flippers to manipulate food items in their environment.

Local Magnetic Fields Are Predictors of Loggerhead Turtle Population Genetics
Loggerheads seek nesting beaches that have local magnetic fields similar to their natal beach, so populations from beaches with magnetic similarities tend to be genetically similar too.

The Tale of the Turtle and the Plastic Jellyfish
Sarah Nelms story for young people about the travails of a hawksbill who eats a plastic bag is now available for free download.


New Publications

  • Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research Newsletter.