• 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 55(1) | January/February 2019

Carl Ernst RIP
Renowned turtle biologist and author Carl Ernst passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the age of 80.

Tortoise Tombstones
Why some ancient Chinese gravestones are tortoise shaped.

Learning From Lonesome George’s Genes
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.

Indian Ocean Tortoise Alliance
New Seychelles-anchored non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Aldabra giant tortoise.

Climate Change and Nevada’s Desert Tortoises
The Department of Defense is funding a study of climate change impacts to Nevada’s desert tortoises.

Perth Zoo’s Stolen Radiated Tortoises Returned
The last two of the three radiated tortoises stolen from the Perth Zoo in 2011 have been recovered.

Canberra's Turtles Could Help Solve Invasive Carp Problem

Australian scientists hope that eastern long-neck turtles will help clean up carp carcasses as they endeavor to eliminate the invasive fish.

Indian Government Seeks to Close Kachhua Wildlife Sanctuary on the Ganges River
The Kachhua Wildlife Sanctuary was established in part to conserve the Indian softshell turtle, Nilssonia gangetica which scavenges on half burnt human corpses that are dumped in the river and help keep the river clean. Now, the President of India wants to dredge the sanctuary.

Giant Amazon River Turtle Recovering
Local Brazilian action and a team from the University of East Anglia are successfully conserving giant South American river turtles.

Rafetus swinhoei Recovery Plan
Hanoi City has released a plan to conserve the two known critically endangered Hoan Kiem (Sword Lake) turtles.

USA Drags It’s Feet Over Pearl River and Pascagoula Map Turtles
Conservationists have filed a notice of intent to sue the administration over its failure to complete the required “12 month” status review triggered by a petition submitted 7 years ago to list sawbacks as endangered species.

Cold-stunned Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Washing Up in Oregon
At least two female olive ridley sea turtles washed ashore along the Oregon coast in early December, according to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Warming Beaches Threaten Hawksbill Turtles
Florida scientists warn that climate change will cause sand temperatures to rise enough to damage eggs, increased rainfall could suffocate the embryos, and cause nests to cave in.

Marine Turtle Newsletter
The latest issue covers the gamut from sleeping loggerheads to Brazilian hybrids.

Tortuga Gazette 55(2) | March/April 2019

Phantasticus Lives!
In the find of the century, biologists found a female Fernandina giant tortoise, Chelonoidis phantasticus, living in one of the isolated patches of vegetation that has survived lava flows from La Cumbre volcano.

Videos: The capture showing her native habitat and In captivity on Isabela

What the Tortoise Taught Us
New insulin delivery system was inspired by a leopard tortoise!!!!

Desert Tortoise Head-starting Strategies
Biologists examine the trade-offs of rearing tortoises indoors, outdoors and after direct release. Indoor-reared tortoises grow faster than direct-released and outdoor-reared tortoises but have softer shells and lower weights.

Sulawesi Forest Turtle
Take a video walk through the Sulawesi Forest Turtle habitat at the Riverbank Zoo.

Temples Are Key Refugia for Assam’s Turtles
Head-started black, Indian, and peacock softshell turtles from temple ponds in Assam and Bangladesh are re-populating the wild.

New Asian Softshell
A new species of softshell turtle, Pelodiscus variegatus, from north-central Vietnam and Hainan Island, China.

Read the research paper.

Chasing Yangtze River Giant Softshells
Brent Crane searches for the two Rafetus swinhoei known to be left in the wild.

Painted Turtle Navigation Some turtles use magnetic fields to find their way around; painted turtles rely on their memories!

South Australian Turtles Face Trouble
Drought, invasive species, and habitat destruction are taking a toll on South Australia’s remarkable turtles.

[The full report is available]

Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises
An international team of scientists reviews and analyses the conservation status of all 360 currently recognized species of living and recently extinct turtles and tortoises.

SWOT Report
The fourteenth State of the World’s Sea Turtles report.

Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter Latest issue available for free download.

African Sea Turtle News
African Sea Turtle Newsletter #10 now available.

Leg Tumor in Fossil Turtle Relative
A specimen of the Chihuahua-sized, Pappochelys rosinae, a shell-less turtle relative that lived 240-million-years ago was afflicted with a type of bone cancer similar to osteosarcoma found in humans.

Linda Cayot Retires
Giant tortoise biologist Linda Cayot has retired after 38 years with the Galapagos Conservancy.

Bob Thomas Retires
Longtime enthusiast Bob Thomas has retired and handed over his Arroyo Grande Turtle and Tortoise Sanctuary to new owners.

Tortuga Gazette 55(3) | May/June 2019

Southern California’s Sea Turtles
• Did you know hundreds of sea turtles are now Southern California residents?

• Olive Ridley spotted off Dana Point.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle Hunting Toll
Researchers have determined that between 1844 and 1992, nine million hawksbill sea turtles were killed for their shells.

Read the original research paper.

Queensland Green Sea Turtles Still Struggling After Die-Off
New study found heavy metals and evidence of poor health in the Great Barrier Reef’s green sea turtle population that suffered an unexplained die-off in 2012-2013.

Climate Change Coping Strategies
Sea turtles are being born mostly female due to climate change. Male hawksbills are responding by breeding with larger numbers of females!

Marine Turtle Newsletter
The latest MTN.

Yangtze Giant Softshell TurtleThe only known female Yangtze giant softshell died a day after an artificial insemination procedure.

Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle
Good news from Cambodia about Cantor's giant softshell turtle, Pelochelys cantorii.

Galapagos Tortoise Migrations
Scientists are not finding it easy to understand the triggers for the seasonal migrations shown by Galapagos tortoises that live on the side of volcanoes.

Pinzón Tortoise Hatchlings Thriving
The eradication of black rats has allowed giant tortoises on Pinzon Island to reproduce naturally for the first time in centuries.

Box Turtle Care
Learning from forty years of Box Turtle husbandry (pdf).

Southeast Asian Box Turtles Vital To Indonesian Environment
The world’s most heavily trafficked turtle, Cuora amboinensis, plays a key role in Indonesia’s environment.

Recent Advances In Turtle Science

Painted turtles threatened by the increased thermal fluctuations predicted to accompany climate change.

MarTurtSI, a global database of stable isotope analyses of marine turtles