Wild Turtle Week is a collaboration between the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy (ARC), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to shell-e-brate all things turtles for one week every May. We hope you will participate, and welcome you to use and share our social media toolkit and infographics.
Turtles have been roaming the earth since the days of the dinosaurs – some fossils date back more than 220 million years. They hold cultural significance for many societies, and play important roles in the environment. Some plant species depend upon turtles for habitat and to disperse their seeds!
The U.S. is a global hotspot for turtle biodiversity. We are home to more than 60 known turtle species, many that are found only here. But our turtles face growing threats from habitat loss, climate change climate change Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.
Turtles can’t afford these losses. It takes many species a decade or more to reach reproductive age, if they make it at all. Most eggs and hatchlings are eaten by predators. Those that do make it must reproduce for their entire lives just to ensure they replace themselves in the population.
When we lose individual turtles from the wild, we lose future generations of turtles. That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to support turtle conservation in the United States and around the world, including through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). There are ways you can help too, including by reporting wildlife crime.
If you suspect someone is illegally collecting or selling wild turtles
Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by phone (1–844-FWS-TIPS) or through this form, or contact your state wildlife agency.
Explore the content collection below for stories and resources related to turtles.
Turtle content collection
You are exiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website
You are being directed to
We do not guarantee that the websites we link to comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act. Links also do not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.