• 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.

Tortuga Gazette 57(1) | January/February 2021

Proposed Bypass Threatens Utah’s Last Remaining Desert Tortoises
“Building the Northern Corridor would be like tossing a burning match into the Reserve.”
Unfortunately for the tortoises, supporters of the bypass “anticipate hearing good news from federal agencies next month concerning the potential approval of the project.”

Braden Holtby’s Leopards
Maple and Honey, National Hockey League player Braden Holtby’s pet leopard tortoises, resulted in him being held up at the Canadian border while USFWS generated an export permit.

Tortoise Research Papers
• Desert tortoise husbandry for head starting programs
• Conserving leopard tortoises in Ethiopia

Female Yangtze River Giant Softshell Turtle Discovered
Genetic analysis confirms at least one of the two turtles in Vietnam’s Dong Mo Lake is a female Yangtze River giant softshell, Rafetus swinhoei, lending hope that this critically endangered species may avoid extinction.
• The BBC has a video of the Yangtze female

Black Softshell Hatchlings Released in Assam
The black softshell turtle, Nilssonia nigricans, is currently classified as extinct in the wild in Assam by the IUCN. Hatchlings from temple populations have now been released in Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary for the third year in a row.

Mass Hatching of Giant South American River Turtles
Amazing video of tens of thousands of hatchling Giant South American River turtles, Podocnemis expansa, emerging from a sandy beach along the Purus River in Brazil.

Pond Turtles and the Bobcat Fire
Biologists “rescued” 8 southwestern pond turtles from the Bobcat Fire burn area in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Covid Pandemic Allows Nature to Breathe
Cancun city officials say that this year, the municipality recorded the largest sea turtle nesting season in 26 years.

Oregon Sea Turtle Strandings
Two olive ridley sea turtles stranded in Oregon.

Massachusetts Strandings"
Non-profits in Massachusetts and Texas teamed up to save 120 cold-stunned sea turtles

Pacific Leatherbacks Continue to Decline
Biologists fear illegal or poorly regulated fishing, poaching, and loss of nesting habitat is having a heavy toll on leatherbacks on their year-long treks across the Pacific Ocean

MEDASSET Fights to Protect Eastern Mediterranean Sea Turtle Habitat
Council of Europe warned that sea turtle habitats in coastal Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are insufficiently protected.

Marine Turtle Newsletter
Read the latest issue.


Tortuga Gazette 57(2) | March/April 2021

Red Cliffs Reserve Habitat Acquisition...
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced that escrow has closed on 53 acres of desert tortoise critical habitat within Red Cliffs Desert Reserve; 23 acres were donated and the other 30 acres purchased.

...Meanwhile, Plans for a Building a Highway Through Red Cliffs Move Forward
Just before the inauguration, Federal agencies signed off on a 4 lane highway through the best desert tortoise habitat on Red Cliffs Reserve.

Alcedo Volcano Supports Healthy Population of Giant Tortoises
A recent census expedition to Alcedo Volcano in the northern part of Isabela Island the local tortoise population (Chelonoidis vandenburghi) exceeded all expectations, with 4,723 individual tortoises located and marked.

Longleat Pancakes
Longleat Safari Park are celebrating the success of their pancake tortoise breeding program, with five newborns in the past year.

Expansive Phylogenetic Study Clarifies Turtle Evolution
A major new genetic study shows that turtle species diversity is strongly associated with historical climate shifts.

Eastern Box Turtles in North Carolina
Major study used citizen scientists to determine the state-wide population characteristics and long-term trends for eastern box turtles in North Carolina.

Head-started Southern River Turtles Released in Cambodia
Cambodia releases head-started Southern river turtles (Batagur affinis) – known locally as Royal Turtles – hatched from eggs harvested from the wild.

Snapping Turtles Vocalize During Hatching
Cool video of a student project evaluating the energetic benefits of hatching common snapping turtle vocalizing in the nest.

Loggerheads Put Distance Between Clutches
Although they return to their natal beaches to nest, female loggerhead sea turtles cleverly lay their clutches well apart from each other to increase the odds of their hatchlings surviving.

Explorer’s Club Honors Indian Sea Turtle Conservationist
Supraja Dharini, founder of the Chennai-based TREE Foundation, has been named one of ‘The Explorers Club 50’ for her work on the olive Ridley sea turtle.

Record Numbers of Cold-stunned Sea Turtles From Texas Freeze
Rehabbers have begun releasing some 9,000 surviving cold-stunned sea turtles picked up off the Texas coast after the recent freeze.

African Sea Turtle Newsletter
Read the latest issue.

Marine Turtle Newsletter
Read the latest issue.


Tortuga Gazette 57(3) | May/June 2021

Chelonian Research Institute Collection Moves to Ojai Peter Pritchard’s Chelonian Research Institute collection has found a new home at the Turtle Conservancy.

Your Turn Haaland and Biden!
Tortoise advocates plea for Secretary of Interior Haaland and President Biden to stop highway construction through significant desert tortoise habitat at Red Cliffs Reserve.

Galapagos Tortoise Hatchlings Found in Luggage
There was lots of coverage of this story of 185 hatchlings being found in a suitcase at a Galapagos airport.

Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle Proposed for ESA Listing
The USFWS has proposed listing the Suwannee alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Video - Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle Hatchlings Zoo Knoxville video of three snake-necked turtles that hatched in mid-April from eggs zookeepers found in their Roti Island turtle enclosure.

VideoLion Chasing Turtle
A small but feisty helmeted turtle tackles a couple of drinking lions.

Sea Turtle Fossil Discovered in Pillar From Earthquake-damaged Church
The 35 million year old fossil remains of an Eochelone sea turtle were found inside a stone pillar during reconstruction of a church in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles May Use a Dynamic Thermal Corridor to Cross the Pacific
North Pacific Loggerhead sea turtles migrate enormous distances. Now biologists propose that they move along a “thermal corridor”, a warm transport pathway that only opens intermittently.

Hybrid Sea Turtles in Northeast Brazil
Genetic analysis reveals that 30 to 40% of female hawksbills at some nesting sites in Brazil are hybrids resulting from cross-breeding with loggerheads.

Sea Turtle Saved From Fishermen’s Tackle Again
A Loggerhead sea turtle named Eleonora was rescued for the second time in 3 years from being entangled in a fishing net.

West Coast Leatherback Sea Turtle Population Crashing
In less than 30 years, the number of western Pacific leatherbacks in the foraging population off of California has plummeted 80%.

Key Sea Turtle Research Paper
A Global Assessment of the Potential for Ocean-Driven Transport in Hatchling Sea Turtles.

Sea Turtle Newsletters
Latest Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter.

African Sea Turtle Newsletter - Tribute to Peter Pritchard.