Three new species of turtles were described during 2016. This brings the number of recognized species to 345. All three of the new species have relatively small distributions and are good candidates for threatened status.
The Yellow-bellied Snapping Turtle, Elseya flaviventralis
Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise,Gopherus evgoodei
The Yellow-bellied Snapping Turtle, Elseya flaviventralis Thomson & Georges, 2016 (family Chelidae), inhabits the Mary, South Alligator, East Alligator, Goyder and Mann River drainages of the northeastern portion of the Northern Territory (Arnhem Land region), Australia.
Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise, Gopherus evgoodei Edwards, Karl, Vaughn, Rosen, Meléndez-Torres & Murphy, 2016 (family Testudinidae). The new tortoise is a habitat specialist and is found exclusively in thornscrub and tropical broadleaf forests that comprise about 24,000 km2.
Isan Snail-eating Turtle, Malayemys isan Sumontha, Brophy, Kunya, Wiboonatthapol & Pauwels, 2016 (family Geoemydidae). This species inhabits northeastern Thailand, where it uses shallow, stagnant or slow-moving freshwater.
Isan Snail-eating Turtle, Malayemys isa
Brophy, Timothy R.; Sumontha, M.; Kunya, K.; Wiboonatthapol, S.; and Pauwels, O.S.G., 2016. A New Snail-Eating Turtle of the Genus MalayemysLindholm, 1931 (Geoemydidae) from Thailand and Laos. Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 120. http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/bio_chem_fac_pubs/120.
Edwards T, Karl AE, Vaughn M, Rosen PC, Torres CM, Murphy RW (2016) The desert tortoise trichotomy: Mexico hosts a third, new sister-species of tortoise in theGopherus morafkai–G. agassizii group. ZooKeys562: 131-158.https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.562.6124
Thomson S, Georges A. 2016. A new species of freshwater turtle of the genusElseya (Testudinata: Pleurodira: Chelidae) from the Northern Territory of Australia.Zootaxa 4061(1):18-28
I am a retired science educator and naturalist. My research focuses on reptiles, mostly snakes. Also, I am interested in dogs and their evolution. Protecting the environment should be a high priority for everyone, particularly politicians. They seem to be in denial over the idea that the environment is our life support system - once it's damaged, it may not be fixable.
World Snake Day is July 16. The day is important to the conservation of snakes. Snakes live on every continent except Antarctica and can vary from the longest species, the reticulated python, to the smallest Barbados Threadsnake. Snakes try to avoid human contact. They consider humans predators. Venomous snakes (and many) use their venom to obtain food and only use it for defense when forced to. World Snake Day can help remove people's fears and illusions about snakes, and help them gain recognition as a marvelous adaptable apex species. World Snake Day can be used to educate and inform people about how to deal with snakes. Let's not mis this opportunity.
World Lizard Day
August 14th is World Lizard Day. It's the perfect time to show some love for these remarkable creatures that have been sharing our planet since the time of the dinosaurs. With over 6,000 known species, lizards come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns, and you can find them on every continent except Antarctica. But why should we celebrate lizards, you ask? Well, they're not just cool to observe in their natural habitats but also essential players in many ecosystems. Lizards help keep insect populations in check, which is vital to our ecosystems. So, let's give these amazing creatures the recognition they deserve on this special day! tems worldwide.
World Turtle Day
Turtles and tortoises have secured their enduring places as enduring symbols in folklore, fables, and popular culture, enchanting our imaginations with their representations of wisdom and resilience. Annually, on May 23, we gather with delight to observe World Turtle Day, a dedicated day that pays homage to these unwavering creatures. Turtles and tortoises, both esteemed members of the reptile family, inhabit an array of diverse environments worldwide, where they play pivotal roles within their ecosystems.
These extraordinary beings don’t merely excavate burrows that become abodes for various other species; they also provide a valuable service by assisting in maintaining the cleanliness of our beaches. Their diet includes the remains of deceased fish that wash ashore, making a substantial contribution to ecological equilibrium. This underscores the profound significance of safeguarding these gentle creatures.
World Turtle Day stands as an occasion specially designated to celebrate and protect both of these remarkable creatures. Its origins can be traced back to 2002 when American Tortoise Rescue introduced this meaningful event. It casts a spotlight on the myriad challenges that turtles and tortoises confront due to human intervention and environmental hazards. On this special day, educational institutions, rescue centers, and nature enthusiasts unite to deepen their understanding of these creatures and pledge unwavering commitments to their preservation.
Here are some impactful ways in which you can actively participate in the endeavor to safeguard these exceptional animals: Adopt a Turtle or Tortoise: Contemplate adopting a turtle or tortoise from a rescue shelter. These low-maintenance creatures make ideal companions, especially for families with young children.
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Our knowledge of the biodiversity of Asia and Australasia continues to expand with more focused studies on the systematics of various groups and their biogeography. Historically, fluctuating sea levels and…