News Round-Up

Global turtle study highlights extinction risk and roadmap to recovery


A Western Sydney University researcher has contributed to the first global and comprehensive assessment of the world’s turtle and tortoise species. The study found half of all 360 turtle and tortoise species worldwide face imminent extinction, but action undertaken now could reverse the decline and save many species.

Published in Current Biology, 51 experts with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, are calling for the end of the trade of wild turtles for food and pets as key to a global conservation strategy.

Hundreds of thousands of turtles and tortoises are collected for the wildlife trade every year. Turtles and tortoises are long-living and slow-growing species, which means they can’t reproduce fast enough to replenish populations that are taken from the wild. Three species of turtles and tortoises have gone extinct in the last two centuries, but that number will climb if the trade isn’t curbed. MORE