The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation is encouraging anyone who sees a Florida box turtle (pictured) to photograph it and report it. SCCF’s Terrestrial & Freshwater Turtle Research team is looking to mark and measure these turtles because they are in big trouble due to poaching and wildlife trafficking.
If you see a box turtle e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any sightings.
Turtles and tortoises were recently declared the most at-risk vertebrate group for extinction, surpassing primates. This designation is primarily from habitat loss, human consumption, traditional medicine use, and an increasing pet trade demand. A global demand for turtles has placed heavy strain on turtle populations in the U.S., especially in the Southeast, which is severely affecting Southwest Florida.
According to SCCF there are 360 species of turtles and tortoises throughout the world; 59 species belonging to seven taxonomic families exist in the United States. Florida has a rich diversity of turtles (27 species). Sixteen species (from all seven taxonomic families in the U.S.) either reside or nest on Sanibel, so the island hosts a strong diversity.