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World Turtle Day 2022 – May 23 

World Turtle Day is annually observed across the globe on 23rd May to create awareness about the plight of turtles and tortoises and their natural habitats. 

  • 23rd May 2022 marks the celebration of the 22nd World Turtle Day

The theme of World Turtle Day 2022 is “Shellebrate!” Asks Everyone to Love and Save Turtles.

Background:

i.World Turtle Day was launched by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a nonprofit organization based in Malibu, California, in 2000. 

ii.Since 2000, the day is being annually celebrated across the globe on 23rd May. 

iii.ATR and World Turtle Day were established by a husband and a wife duo, Susan Tellem and Marshall Thomspon.

Significance:

i.World Turtle Day was created to increase respect for and knowledge about turtle, one of the world’s oldest creatures.

ii.Turtles are the most threatened of the major groups of vertebrates, more so than birds, mammals, and fish. 

Threats faced by turtles:

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – Species Survival Commission (SSC) Marine Turtle Specialist Group has identified five major threats to sea turtles worldwide: fisheries bycatch, coastal development, pollution and pathogens, direct take, and climate change.

Turtles in India:

i.All the five species of sea turtles occurring in India, including the Olive Ridley

turtles, are legally protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

and Appendix I of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Convention which prohibits the trading of turtle products. 

ii.The 5 species of sea turtle inhabit the indian waters are 

olive ridley, 

  • Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea).
  • Green turtles (Chelonia mydas).
  • Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata).
  • Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).
  • Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

Note: 

The coastal state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India experiences one of the world’s largest mass nesting or arribada of the Olive Ridley turtle during the months of October to April. Three of the world’s major mass nesting beaches for this species are located in Odisha.





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