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WSPA was delighted to work with National Geographic for Kids magazine recently on their special ocean issue, educating young animal lovers on the challenges faced by turtles as part of our global wildlife campaign.
There are seven species of marine turtles: loggerhead, hawksbill, green, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley and flatback.
All seven are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure that international trade in animal species does not threaten their survival.
WSPA Wildlife Campaign Leader Dr Neil D’Cruze addressed the biggest danger faced by turtles, saying: “Sadly, it’s us! Around 250,000 turtles are captured, injured or killed by humans every year.”
He went on to explain the positive difference we can make: “But we can help turtles too, there are lots of things kids and adults can do to help protect them. Why not volunteer at a beach clean up, or support campaigns to ban the use of plastic bags?”
Watch Neil’s video on the impact of wildlife crime on marine turtles below.
WSPA is battling the illegal wildlife trade as a global priority. Recent studies suggest that the trade is valued at US$7.8-10 billion each year with links to drugs cartels, organised crime and even terrorism.
Recently, more than 11,000 WSPA supporters from the UK signed an open letter to Boris Johnson, Mayor or London, urging him to safeguard the future of London’s specialist Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU).
WSPA is calling for central funding of the WCU to allow officers to use and develop their specialist skills and knowledge to tackle animal-related criminality more effectively – bringing criminals to justice and making London safer for people and animals.