Of all turtles are endangered or critically endangered
6 out of 7 sea turtle species are threatened or endangered
Turtles of all sizes and species are facing a big issue: the lack of health information on them. When turtles become ill in rehab facilities, or scientists notice disease outbreaks in wild populations, who saves them? The world's zoo & wildlife veterinarians do. Here's the other issue: there is little to ZERO funding available to these veterinarians to research these turtle health issues. Basic health parameters like a healthy red blood cell count are unknown for many turtles, which makes it very difficult for veterinarians to treat them.
So who's doing something about it?
The Wild Animal Health Fund is. Since 2012, we have funded over 16 turtle health studies alone, and over 70 more species. While our focus is not solely on turtles, the need for more health studies on them is great. The turtle studies funded by the Wild Animal Health Fund have covered topics like:
- Investigating herpesvirus in symptomatic and asymptomatic green sea turtles
- Nutritional status of green sea turtles in rehabilitation centers (so veterinarians can mimic their natural diet)
- Disease and mortality in free-living Eastern box turtles
- How medications metabolize in green, loggerhead, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles
- Prevalence of adenovirus in free ranging blanding’s turtles, painted turtles, and red eared sliders in Illinois
- Many more
Learn more about zoo animal & wildlife health by checking out our blog!
Disclaimer: The issue of plastics in our ocean is serious. Please continue to recycle & reduce single plastic use when possible