World Turtle Day 2023
World Turtle Day is an annual observance held every May 23rd. It began in 2000 and is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue. The day was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats, as well as to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. The event was first celebrated in 2000, making 2023 the 24th anniversary of the observance.
Turtles are vital to the marine environment. They control the population of jellyfish, and sponges, and maintain the length of the seagrass, which provides oxygen to the ocean. Their eggshells help enrich coastal vegetation. Turtle hatchlings are food for raccoons, birds and fish. On the other hand, tortoises live on land. They have bigger, heavier shells and are not able to swim. Turtle populations around the globe are gradually declining due to habitat destruction, artificial lighting, turtle trade, climate change and pollution.
Significance of World Turtle Day 2023:
World Turtle Day is marked to raise awareness about the need to protect turtles and tortoises and their nesting sites around the world. The day also urges citizens, law enforcement agencies, policy members and governments to stop the illegal turtle trade.
Thousands of turtles nest on the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India. However, economic development and modernisation of the region threaten their survival today. It is essential that turtle nesting sites, at the respective beaches, should be protected at all costs to prevent their extinction.
History of World Turtle Day:
World Turtle Day is an annual observance celebrated on May 23rd to raise awareness about the conservation and protection of turtles and tortoises, as well as their habitats. The day aims to promote knowledge about these reptiles and the threats they face, while encouraging people to take action to ensure their survival.
World Turtle Day was founded by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and welfare of turtles and tortoises. The event was first celebrated in 2000, making 2023 the 24th anniversary of the observance.
The founders of World Turtle Day, Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, established the day with the goal of increasing awareness about the challenges turtles and tortoises encounter. They recognized the need for conservation efforts due to the numerous threats faced by these creatures, such as habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, and illegal trafficking.