Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy World Sea Turtle Day

Today is World Sea Turtle Day, named in honor of the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr who was the father of modern sea turtle biology.  Locally, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society and the Sea Turtle Conservancy are hosting events.  This is my favorite photo of Archie Carr - he and some of his students attaching balloons to sea turtles so they could track their ocean travels (photo courtesy of Sea Turtle Conservancy).  See my 2009 post about this at http://www.spacecoastbeachbuzz.com/2009/06/tracking-sea-turtles-now-and-then.html

The Sea Turtle Conservancy newsletter provided this excellent background information:

"A renowned herpetologist, naturalist and professor of zoology at the University of Florida, Dr. Carr is perhaps best known to the public as the author of eloquent books about sea turtles and the tropics. For those familiar with sea turtle research and conservation, Dr. Carr is revered for his scientific contributions and vision. He was passionate about sea turtles, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Born in 1909, Dr. Carr spent his career in the Americas where sea turtles were intensely exploited for much of the 20th Century, just as they were in other areas of the world.  Dr. Carr left a remarkable legacy of science and conservation, including a program that has safeguarded an imperiled assemblage of nesting green sea turtles in Tortuguero along the wild Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.  Dr. Carr would be enormously pleased by the ongoing success of green turtles in Tortuguero and closer to home in Florida, where formerly depleted populations of green turtles are nesting in greater numbers each year. He would be excited too by the powerful conservation ethic for sea turtles emerging in much of the world. After decades of conservation, the remarkable resurgence of the Kemp's ridley in the Gulf of Mexico and the hawksbill in the Caribbean, two species in a perilous state at the time of his passing in 1987, are cause for celebration. As envisioned by Dr. Carr, good will and good science are the foundation for preventing the extinction of sea turtles in our modern world, but efforts must be concerted and they must be long-term."

Happy Birthday, Dr. Carr!





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