Day of the (Turtle) Dogs

Day of the (Turtle) Dogs

“Getting that smell out of their coats is going to be a project.” Rucker gives a few quick commands and his field assistants – four female Boykin spaniels – finish their impromptu break, and get back to the job at hand: namely, tracking and retrieving every ornate box turtle they can find in these restored and remnant native prairies.

Investigating the Illegal Sea Turtle Trade

Investigating the Illegal Sea Turtle Trade

“But it’s illegal to sell turtles, take their eggs, or to kill a female that is nesting on the beach.” Those restrictions are put in place to protect sea turtles from overharvesting, as most species have experienced catastrophic population declines in the last few decades.

Just a Few Pieces of Plastic Can Kill Sea Turtles

Just a Few Pieces of Plastic Can Kill Sea Turtles

In some areas with high levels of plastic pollution, like the Mediterranean and the southern Atlantic Ocean, turtles are unable to avoid the debris, while in other areas it is less of a problem.“We know individual turtles are dying, but we don’t know yet whether enough turtles are dying to cause population decline, and that’s where we’re heading to now,” Dr. Hamann said.Jennifer Lynch, a research biologist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Hawaii, took issue with the way the study measured vulnerability to plastic.In her own research, she has seen animals that aren’t harmed after swallowing 300 pieces of plastic, so she doesn’t believe that 14 pieces pose such a high risk of death.