Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

Sister Isles Rock Iguana Faces Serious Decline



Experts believe the fall in numbers is due to increased development as well as road traffic and pets. One hundred rock iguanas are killed by vehicles on Little Cayman each year, which amounts to 8% of the population, or the equivalent of 4,000 people being killed in traffic accidents per year on Grand Cayman, the National Trust explained. “This is especially troubling in light of the fact that Little Cayman is the smallest island with the lowest posted speed limits,” officials said.

Celebrating World Turtle Day

American Tortoise Rescue, which is a turtle and tortoise rescue organization founded in 1990 in Malibu, California initiated World Turtle Day in 2000. This group brings attention to turtle conservation issues and creates awareness on how each of us can help protect these gentle but at risk animals.



MAY is the month that turtles emerge from winter hibernation and start looking for their mates and nesting areas.



The Humane Society has suggested 12 actions you can take to honor the turtles and tortoises.



Help Stop the Asian Turtle Crisis
. The majority of Asian turtle populations have been critically diminished by over-collection, particularly for delicacies in restaurants and live animal markets. Dealers are now targeting turtle populations elsewhere, such as in the United States and Europe, to meet the Asian demand. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified this as the “Asian turtle crisis,” and it has spearheaded efforts to protect turtles from the trade.

Get Turtles out of U.S. Live Animal Markets. Turtles are among the most popular offerings at live animal markets in the United States. They suffer terrible abuse in filthy, neglectful conditions, and they are slaughtered by being cut apart while conscious. The vast majority of market turtles are taken from the wild, contributing to declining U.S. turtle populations. Tell state wildlife agencies that you’re concerned about the increasing collection of wild turtles and tortoises to supply animal markets in the United States and abroad.

If wildlife is being sold for food in a live animal market in your state, contact your local and state legislators, asking that they ban the practice. You may also find it effective to contact state and local health departments (check the Centers for Disease Control web site for listings), which are responsible for sanitary conditions at live animal markets. Finally, contact state wildlife agencies about the dangers that non-native and diseased market animals may pose to local wildlife if released.

Don’t Pollute or Litter. Pollution makes its way into bodies of water and wild areas, poisoning turtles and tortoises and destroying their habitats. Always properly dispose of any hazardous materials such as paint or oil. Garbage, such as plastic bags, kills many pond turtles and sea turtles who either ingest it or become entangled in it. Reduce the amount of garbage you produce and dispose of it properly.

Protect Turtle and Tortoise Habitat. Become active in your local conservation commission or parks and recreation department, and work to preserve turtle habitat.

Stop Turtle and Tortoise Exploitation. Avoid activities such as turtle races. They involve taking turtles out of their natural habitats and exposing them to many dangers, not to mention an enormous amount of stress. Races can harm individual turtles as well as entire local wild populations.

Give Them a Brake. If you see a turtle or tortoise crossing a road, gently pick him up and carry him across in the direction he was headed. (Be watchful for cars in the process.) If the turtle is a large one, or a snapping turtle, use a stick to nudge him gently across the road without getting too close.

Enjoy Turtles and Tortoises in the Wild. Never keep wild turtles or tortoises as pets or buy them from a pet store. The trade in reptiles as pets is responsible for tremendous animal suffering and serious damage to turtle and tortoise populations. Learn to enjoy these animals by observing them in their natural habitat, where they belong. If turtles or tortoises live in your yard, why not keep them happy by building a pond and by landscaping with plants that provide protection and food? Edible plants such as tropical hibiscus, dandelion, geraniums, and Chinese lantern can be quite appetizing.  (Make sure that your plants are free of pesticide and herbicide residue.) Piles of leaves, vines, and downed trees make perfect hiding places.

Do Not Disturb. Steer clear of the beach at night during the summer. Your presence will frighten nesting sea turtles back into the sea, preventing them from laying eggs and jeopardizing any eggs they have laid. Click here for information about what to do if you find a sea turtle that you think may be in trouble.

Turn Out the Lights. Do not shine bright lights on the beach at night. Oppose coastal development such as condominiums, houses, resorts, and hotels; they tend to expose beaches to excessive artificial lighting, which discourages female turtles from approaching the beach to lay eggs. The light also draws hatchlings away from the ocean, disorients them, and exposes them to predation and deadly dehydration.

Report Crimes. Tell local authorities if you see any person harassing or poaching a sea turtle, her eggs, hatchlings, or nests — or those of any other endangered turtles and tortoises. These activities are violations of U.S. state and federal laws.


See What You Can Do. Several groups are involved in research, conservation, and advocacy work to protect turtles and tortoises. Join one of these groups to stay informed. (See the off-site links below for just a few.)

Spread the Word. Educate others about the importance of protecting turtles and tortoises from commercial exploitation and abuse in your community and throughout the world. Be a voice for turtles.

Water is Vital to the Survival of an Ecosystem

70% of the Earth’s surface is Water and is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exist on our planet.


So why as humans do we recognize this, but continue to disregard it by polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans?  When are we going to wake up and take responsibility for our actions?   Are we even thinking about the consequences?   Is anyone aware that the pollution of rivers and streams with chemical contaminants has become one of the most crucial environmental problems within the 20th century?


Sea Turtles of Tortuguero

The Sea Turtles of Tortuguero are absolutely the main attraction of Tortuguero National Park.


If you plan on visiting the beach at night to see the spectacular sight of these marvelous creatures laying their eggs, a guide will accompany you to the beach (no one is allowed on the beach unaccompanied after 6:00 pm).



To learn more about the different types of turtles that visit Tortuguero and their nesting schedule CLICK HERE.

New Species Discovered in Fiji

According to Fiji Times Online, a new creature was discovered earlier this month on the islands of Taveuni and Qamea in Fiji.


The islanders thought that the newly discovered iguana would be a threat to the other indigenous species there, however it has been determined by the head Chief Veterinary Officer (Dr. Robin Archari) that this new species is a herbivore.



Iguana found by Lovonivonu villagers in Fiji. Source: Fiji Times Online



According to sources the iguana was “introduced by this foreigner who constructed ponds with the intention of breeding more. He brought in two iguanas and they’ve multiplied to about 1000.”

New Species Discovered With an Uncertain Future

A team of researchers from the Arizona-based Reptile & Amphibian Ecology International announced they have discovered a new rain frog along with 30 other unknown species in Ecuador’s highland forest.  Unfortunately, global warming is a real threat for this new species and all creatures that live in the forest.


To read this article (CLICK HERE) or click on the photo below.


New Species of Rain Frog Discovered: Photo found on National Geographic

Snake Spits Out New Species of Chameleon At Scientist's Feet






This is a GREAT fun story on how a conservationist from York University discovered a new Magombera chameleon species in Tanzania!


Dr. Andrew Marshall was studies monkeys in the jungle in the Magombera forest in Tanzania when he stumbled across a twig snake (which at the time was eating the chameleon). Startled by Marshall, the snake coughed up the chameleon and took off into the forest. While looking over the dead chameleon, Marshall suspected it might be a new species and took a photograph. A short time later, Marshall discovered the same species approximately 6 miles from the original finding. He photographed that creature and has published his findings formally on record in November of 2009.


Marshall is hoping to persuade the Tanzanian authorities in protecting this area of the forest which the chameleon was found. To read this entire article CLICK HERE or on the photo below.



New Species of Chameleon found in Tanzania by Dr. Andrew Marshall: Photo taken by Dr. Andrew Marshall of York University

Endangered Animal Trading on the Rise in Indonesia

I’m so sad to see that the forest areas in Indonesia are still being converted and taken over by humans forcing endemic wildlife species to flee the area.  Indonesia is home to many wonderful animals, some of which are only found there.  Is man’s needs for natural resources more important than keeping a species off the endangered species list?



The Green Turtle is “still the main turtle trade destination in Indonesia”, says Rosek Nurasahid, a ProFauna International wildlife observer.  According to the 2009 end -of-the-year report, ProFauna announced that trade in protected animals species in Indonesia was still high.  The latest ProFauna survey conducted at 70 birds markets in 58 cities in 2009 indicated 183 rare and protected animal species had been traded.


To read more on this, CLICK HERE to read the article found on Asia One News or click on photo below.


Photo taken by: Matt Einholf