Where Have All the Turtles Gone, and Why Should We Care?

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A recently published paper on the global status of turtles and their ecological roles generated quite a bit of media interest.

Jeff Lovich is the lead author of a recently published paper that received a lot of national and international media attention. The paper is about the global status of turtles and their ecological roles, and was published in BioScience on September 12, 2018. Each of Jeff’s co-authors from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, University of Georgia, and University of California, Davis put out a press release. Within a week of the paper being published, over 40 stories featuring the press releases were published, including a BBC interview with Jeff. According to metrics that measure interest in publications, the manuscript has received over 22,500 views and has been downloaded over 900 times. The manuscript generating this interest is titled “Where Have all the Turtles Gone, and Why does it Matter?”.

A terrapin (turtle) walking on moist soil and leaf litter

Diamond-backed terrapin from Edisto Island, SC. (Credit: Jeff Lovich, USGS. Public domain.)

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Date published: December 8, 2016

Turtle Ecology

Turtles are among the most recognizable and iconic of animals. Any animal with a shell and a backbone is a turtle whether they are called turtles, tortoises, or terrapins. In fact, terrapin is an Algonquian Native American name for turtle. Worldwide there are 356 turtle species on all continents except for Antarctica. The United States has more species than any other country with about 62 ...