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CLEARWATER TURTLE & TORTOISE CLUB OF FLORIDA MEETING

CLEARWATER TURTLE & TORTOISE CLUB OF FLORIDA MEETING

Saturday, February 10, 7-9 p.m.

This non-profit, educational and recreational club is for those interested in turtles with an emphasis on responsibility husbandry and captive breeding.  Each month a speaker discusses turtle topics and they give talks at libraries, schools and environmental educational education centers. For more info contact Ralph Till at .  $1 suggested donation per session

 The Big Turtle Year: Celebrating Wild Turtles Across the United States

 
George L. Heinrich (Heinrich Ecological Services; Florida Turtle Conservation Trust)
Summary: Turtles play significant ecological roles and are visible elements in many habitats. A long list of diverse threats to species globally has contributed to approximately 58% of all turtles being threatened with extinction. Working in negative synergy, these threats present broad and immediate conservation challenges for the most endangered wildlife taxa in the world. Despite the urgency of the situation, opportunities for conservation are abundant and the charismatic attraction of turtles makes them an excellent group for education and outreach efforts to enhance ecological, conservation, and environmental awareness. Fifty-nine turtle species occur in the United States and many are of conservation concern. While species from areas such as Asia, South America, and Madagascar often receive the majority of conservation attention, the plight of species within the U.S. quietly goes unnoticed. The goal of The Big Turtle Year is to increase awareness regarding the status of these often overlooked species and to emphasize their rich diversity, natural history, and conservation needs. Throughout 2017, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust researchers visited numerous sites accompanied by other biologists and conservationists in an effort to see as many species as possible during a single year, while examining threats and conservation actions needed. For more information, please visit www.thebigturtleyear.org.

Bio: George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his current work focuses on the conservation of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (St. Petersburg, Florida), anthropogenic threats to diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and distributional surveys of the Suwannee cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis) within its southern range. George is an invited member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council, and is the executive director of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust.

 

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