The Turtle’s Dilemma

TURTLESAmbience, Red Footed Tortoise Celebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.The Iroquois Indians have a tradition which says that the Earth rests on the back of a turtle, the only animal which can keep it stable. Today, for the first time in the 200 million year old history of turtles, their stability if not their existence is being threatened all over the world. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We’re listening to the sounds of the Red Footed Tortoise, one of many species whose population has been dwindling.Klemens: The World Conservation Union has determined that approximately a third of the world’s 250 species of turtles and tortoises are in need of conservation attention. It’s a very, very high percentage of animals. The threats are varied from deforestation to habitat loss to over collection whether that be for over hunting, over fishing, over collecting for the wildlife trade.”Michael Klemens is Director of Turtle Conservation for the American Museum of Natural History.Klemens: Turtles are really programmed to live a long time. And the keystone to turtle survival is that once a turtle becomes adult that turtle will reproduce for a great length of time. Unfortunately, with the current environmental changes happening so rapidly, turtles often do not live out their natural lifespan. The problems for turtles is not that they just have to reach adulthood which will take many species 15 or 20 years. But once their adult, they must be insured that they can go on to reproduce for the 30 to 70 years plus that there’re supposed to, and that in a rapidly changing environment happens less and less frequently.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

The Turtle's Dilemma

A turtle's long life span is turning out to be a disadvantage for its survival. This archival program is part of our 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:07/16/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

TURTLESAmbience, Red Footed Tortoise Celebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.The Iroquois Indians have a tradition which says that the Earth rests on the back of a turtle, the only animal which can keep it stable. Today, for the first time in the 200 million year old history of turtles, their stability if not their existence is being threatened all over the world. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We're listening to the sounds of the Red Footed Tortoise, one of many species whose population has been dwindling.Klemens: The World Conservation Union has determined that approximately a third of the world's 250 species of turtles and tortoises are in need of conservation attention. It's a very, very high percentage of animals. The threats are varied from deforestation to habitat loss to over collection whether that be for over hunting, over fishing, over collecting for the wildlife trade."Michael Klemens is Director of Turtle Conservation for the American Museum of Natural History.Klemens: Turtles are really programmed to live a long time. And the keystone to turtle survival is that once a turtle becomes adult that turtle will reproduce for a great length of time. Unfortunately, with the current environmental changes happening so rapidly, turtles often do not live out their natural lifespan. The problems for turtles is not that they just have to reach adulthood which will take many species 15 or 20 years. But once their adult, they must be insured that they can go on to reproduce for the 30 to 70 years plus that there're supposed to, and that in a rapidly changing environment happens less and less frequently.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.