• 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 53(1) | January/February 2017

Proposed Extension of TED Use
New rules would require Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) to be used on 5,800 boats currently exempted from using them and could save as many as 2,500 sea turtles each year.

Morafka’s Tortoise Rescued From Mine Shaft
This tortoise was lucky but there are hundreds of open mine shafts and wells peppered throughout desert tortoise habitats in our southwestern deserts that need tortoise proofing.

Hitech Raven Fight
Tim Shields is fighting to save desert tortoises with a hi-tech armory comprising robots, lasers, and 3D-printed lures...

You Can’t Make This Up!
A man who had poached a radio-telemetered gopher tortoise from the side of a road was arrested by Florida police. The police saw the tortoise in the man’s car after responding to his girlfriend’s 911 call that he had hit her.

Iowa Considers Turtle Take Season
Iowa State legislators are considering limiting commercial trapping of turtles to a specific season. Amazingly, this proposed change from 12 months to 10 months (yes, the proposed season is a full 10 months long!) is considered controversial in Iowa.

Ban Sought On Commercial Harvest of Turtles in Louisiana
In October, the Center for Biological Diversity and Gulf Restoration Network filed a petition to end unlimited commercial collection of Louisiana’s freshwater turtles.

Video: Head Starting Threatened Spiny Softshell Turtles In Vermont
Short news video on Vermont’s head-starting program for state-threatened spiny softshells.

Video: 17,000 Podocs Released!
Peru released 17,000 hatchling yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles in a protected area in northeastern Peru's Amazon River Basin.

Video: Leatherback Sea Turtle Visits Boater
Short clip of a laid-back leatherback sea turtle encountered by an excited New Zealand boater.

Help stop beautiful hawksbill sea turtles from being killed for their shells to feed the demand for jewelry and guitar picks.

Sea Turtle Newsletters
Read the latest issues of Marine Turtle Newsletter and the African Sea Turtle Newsletter.


Tortuga Gazette 53(2) | March/April 2017

Pleurodire and Cryptodire Differences Linked to Prey Capture
Turtles are classed as either side-necked or hidden-necked. New fossil indicates that the way turtles withdraw their head and necks is linked to how they capture prey.

Fossil of Extinct Bahaman Tortoise Yields DNA
A specimen of an extinct tortoise species that fell into a water-filled sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 years ago has been recovered with some of its DNA intact.

The Big Turtle Year
New initiative of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust seeks to raise awareness of the rich diversity, ecology, and conservation needs of turtle species occurring in the United States.

Lonesome George Goes Home
The preserved remains of Lonesome George have been returned to the Galapagos.

Tortoises Have Long Memories
Most tortoise owners already knew this, but now scientists have learned that red-footed tortoises trained to recognize specific visual cues still remember the cues when retested 18 months later.

Red Cliffs Plan Excludes New Freeway
Not sure how long this good news will last but the Bureau of Land Management’s latest plan for Red Cliffs Conservation Area excludes a right-of-way for a new freeway through the desert tortoise preserve.

Marines Plan to Displace More Desert Tortoises
Despite the ongoing population declines, yet again the agencies are allowing largescale translocation of West Mojave desert tortoises.

Green Sea Turtle Counts Overestimated?
New research indicates that green sea turtles may re-nest many more times than originally thought. Population estimates of the threatened species based on counting females on nesting beaches may have overestimated numbers by twofold.

Marine Turtle Newsletter
The latest issue of the Marine Turtle Newsletter (January 2017) is now available.

Kemp's Ridley Science
The journal Gulf of Mexico Science has a special issue on the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle available for free download.

2014 Sea Turtle Symposium Proceedings
The Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Symposium On Sea Turtle Biology And Conservation held in New Orleans, 2014 are available for free download.

Climate Change Effects on Sea Turtles
A couple of interesting studies illustrate the need to look at the whole scenario when making predictions about turtle and tortoises.
The good news is that study of seven sea turtle species shows that while increased temperatures may increase the proportion of female hatchlings the better survival of newly hatched males and more frequent mating by adult males mean that population size will not be compromised.
The bad news is that increased sand temperatures are detrimental to all hatchlings...

Sea Turtle Hatchlings Dying in Extreme Heat On a related note, turtle hatchlings were found dying in extreme heat on Queensland's famous Mon Repos beach where a heatwave pushed the sand’s temperature to a record 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Farenheit).

Science of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Endangered Species Research has a special issue on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on protected marine species including sea turtles. This is open access so downloads are free.

Box Turtle Life
On the lighter side, Fred Seitz interviews a box turtle he met while walking in a Maryland Park.


Tortuga Gazette 53(3) | May/June 2017

Marines Displace 1,100 Tortoises
With the compliance of the wildlife agencies, some 1,100 threatened desert tortoises are being forcibly removed from their habitat as Twenty Nine Palms Marine Base expands.

Desert Tortoise Natural Area
Story with video on the 25,000 acre Desert Tortoise Natural Area north of California City in Kern County.

Tommy Lost and Found
Lost and found tortoise stories are common. But little Tommy’s travels taught me something. Who knew the Salvation Army runs an animal sanctuary?
Tommy Lost
Tommy Found

Giant Tortoise Evolution and Dispersal
The evidence that giant tortoises spread to islands without human intervention.

Fossil Giant Softshell From Wyoming
This brief story has a wonderful photograph of a reconstructed fossil soft shell turtle with its finders providing scale.

California Drought and Western Pond Turtles
Scientific paper from Jeff Lovich and his team on the impacts of California’s protracted drought on the western pond turtles at Elizabeth Lake.

Western Painted Turtles
Short radio broadcast and video on western painted turtles from Missouri Department of Conservation.

Murray River Turtle Restoration To Mitigate Aussie Carpageddon?
The Australian government is considering releasing large numbers of rare, head-started Murray River turtles and a fish-herpes virus to remove invasive exotic carp from the Murray River.

Two Burmese Roofed Turtle Clutches Found
Batagur trivittata is a rare turtle and pictures of it are scarcer than hen's eggs. This short article has a couple.

Deepwater Horizon
Sea turtles and the long-lived effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Loggerheadlines
The latest issue from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Turtle Conservation Program.

Cyborg Turtles
One day you will be able to control your turtle’s movement just by thinking about it. (This would make an unlikely turnaround from Hannibal, my 30 year sulcata, controlling me.)