Heartwarming Video Alert: Heroic Tortoise Saves Friend

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Via the Huffington Post, which led with the following commentary:

When it comes down it, we all want to be like this tortoise. The kind of person that goes around saving lives and doing good deeds just for the hell of it. But the unfortunate reality is that we can’t all be heroes. And that’s what this tortoise is.

Oh, my darling grasshopper! Of course you can be a hero – every day! You can start by going vegan; vegans spare the lives of about 100 nonhuman animals every year.

And that’s just on your plate! Look around, open your eyes, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do good deeds. Yesterday, for example, I saved six worms – who would have otherwise died of dehydration on my patio, after the recent rain evaporated – simply by relocating them ten feet to a nearby dirt-filled planter.

Six worms may not seem like much, but I’m sure it meant the world to them. And it took me all of three minutes.

(In case you can’t view the 99-second video, here’s the rundown: as one tortoise lays struggling on his back, a second tortoise comes to his aid; she pushes and “head-butts” the side of his shell until he’s flipped back upright. The two then proceed to walk away from the videographer together, the second tortoise following the first, as if to ensure that he really is alright after the harrowing incident.)

Oceana: Trawl Boats Need Turtle Excluder Devices!

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Via Oceana:

Trawl Boats Need Turtle Excluder Devices!

Even 30 years after legislation passed requiring shrimp trawl boats be equipped with escape hatches called turtle excluder devices, sea turtles — all of them either threatened or endangered — are still drowning in trawl nets. This is because the U.S. government allows other trawl fisheries in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico to operate without the turtle excluder devices.

Turtle excluder devices, commonly known as “TEDs” are proven to reduce the mortality rate of sea turtles caught in trawls because when the turtles are captured they strike the grid bars on the TED and are ejected through the opening. This allows the turtles to surface and breath rather than being held underwater in the trawl net to drown.

Even trawls with TEDs still pose a threat to sea turtles because being slammed out of the TED after having been held under water for even a short time is physically stressful on the turtles. NMFS should ban trawl fishing in areas that are known to be key habitat areas for turtles.

It is time for the government to take the Endangered Species Act seriously and require the use of TEDs in all trawl fisheries without exceptions. The TEDs required must be of the proper size to allow all ages and species of turtles to escape. In addition, the government needs to prevent trawling from occurring in the most vital areas for sea turtle foraging, reproduction and migration.

Write to the National Marine Fisheries Service and tell them to stop letting so many turtles be injured or killed in trawl fisheries! The comment period ends May 18, so be sure to pass along your input today!



Oceana: Ask the Pope Not to Lent Sea Turtles Onto the Menu

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Via Oceana:

Ask the Pope Not to Lent Sea Turtles Onto the Menu

Easter marked the close of this year’s Lenten season, and a day of celebration with family and friends was observed by millions. Spring has officially sprung, and with it a unique opportunity to protect threatened and endangered sea turtles. Due to a common misconception, an estimated 10,000 sea turtles were eaten in observance of the “no fish on Fridays” Lenten tradition and as part of Holy Week celebrations.

Oceana has partnered with Grupo Tortuguero to educate the public about sea turtles, whose already endangered status is made worse by this misunderstanding. Though they live in the ocean, sea turtles are not fish; they’re reptiles in the same way that lizards and snakes are reptiles, more closely related to dinosaurs than fish. Sea turtles are slow-growing and long-lived. Each individual creature impacts in the future of the species.

Sea turtles are indicators of our ocean’s health, which we depend on for our own survival. And, unfortunately, all six sea turtles species found in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

That’s why Oceana is working across the world to encourage governments and others to pass policies that treat turtles like the ancient, threatened and endangered creatures they are. In February 2003, we scored a major victory when the U.S. government passed new rules to require larger turtle excluder devices (TEDs) on shrimp trawl nets in the Gulf of Mexico — saving more than 60,000 sea turtles a year.

In order to protect these gentle giants from this latest threat, we’re asking his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to intervene. Send your letter to the Holy See today, and ask the Pope to officially announce that sea turtles should not be eaten by Roman Catholics on Fridays during Lent.



ARA PSAs: March of the Penguins

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Prowildlife (Penguins)

Gives new meaning to the term “animal rights terrorism”, no? Ah, if only.

Make the jump for the rest of the photos in this series.

(More below the fold…)

The Ocean Conservancy: Urge Congress to Protect Sea Turtles

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Via The Ocean Conservancy:

Urge Congress to Protect Sea Turtles

Endangered sea turtles need your help today! Despite overwhelming public support for sea turtle conservation, President Bush has proposed to dramatically underfund a key program to save these animals. Please take action today by writing your Senators and Representative in Congress. Urge them to do all they can to turn the tables and increase funding for vitally important endangered species conservation programs, including one intended to help endangered sea turtles.

During the next two weeks, Congress will begin its appropriation cycle for fiscal year 2008—deciding how much money will go towards different programs and projects.

The Ocean Conservancy is requesting $1.5 million for the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund. In 2004, The Ocean Conservancy helped establish the Fund to ensure the long-term survival of sea turtles, by assisting in the conservation of the imperiled species and their nesting habitats in foreign countries. The Fund has been hugely successful, providing grants for anti-poaching patrols, habitat protection, surveys of animal populations, public education, disease control, and innovative efforts to resolve human-animal conflicts.



Center for Biological Diversity: Stop the Killing of Sea Turtles in Gillnets

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Via the Center for Biological Diversity:

Stop the Killing of Sea Turtles in Gillnets

Pacific Leatherbacks are the most endangered of the world’s sea turtle species. The primary threat to the species is drowning in gillnet and longline fisheries. In 2000 the federal government created the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area, banning gillnets within it to protect Leatherbacks that come to feed in the rich waters off the California and Oregon coasts each fall.

Now the Bush administration is proposing to allow an industrial fishing fleet to set hundreds of their mile-long turtle-killing nets in this protected area. Take action today and demand that this destructive fishery be kept out of the Leatherback’s feeding areas.

Click here to learn more, or here to take action.