CWF and CSTN Launch Great Canadian Turtle Race
HALIFAX, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ – The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF)
and the Canadian Sea Turtle Network (CSTN) have launched the Great
Canadian Turtle Race to help conserve the Endangered leatherback sea
turtle and to ensure more Canadians to learn about this at-risk reptile
and about marine conservation.
The leatherback sea turtle is officially recognized as an endangered
species by Canada and on an international scale. At the recent
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting in
Jeju, Korea, members voted in favour of a motion to improve global
conservation efforts in order to reverse the turtle survival crisis.
“Although leatherback sea turtles are large and charismatic marine
organisms, like many marine wildlife species, they are often not widely
recognized as a part of Canada’s wildlife heritage,” says Sean
Brillant, Manager of Marine Programs at the Canadian Wildlife
It was only in the last decade that CSTN scientists, with support from
CWF, identified how crucial Canada’s Atlantic waters are for Atlantic
leatherback populations. For ages, these giant reptiles have travelled
to Atlantic Canada every summer to forage on abundant jellyfish in
preparation for their journey to their southern nesting grounds. The
challenge now is to ensure that more Canadians recognize these turtles
as a part of Canada’s wildlife and that we share responsibility for
CWF and CSTN are hoping to improve this with the Great Canadian Turtle
In May of 2011, CWF competed with dozens of other non-profit
organizations for funding from the Shell Fuelling Change Program. With
the help of our supporters, the Great Canadian Turtle Race was granted
$100,000 of funding towards leatherback sea turtle conservation.
With this funding, scientists from the Canadian Sea Turtle Network
attached satellite tags to ten female leatherback turtles off the coast
of Nova Scotia during the summer of 2012. The tags will give scientists
important knowledge about the behavior and location of the turtles as
they make their way to their nesting grounds.
Canadians are encouraged to pick which turtle they think will reach the
nesting beaches first and keep their eyes glued to TurtleRace.ca where they can track each of the turtles on our real time map! Those
who pick the winning turtle (the female that reaches a nesting beach
first), will be entered into a draw to win a trip to see leatherback
sea turtles in their southern nesting grounds!
“This project is a chance to connect people with leatherback sea
turtles,” says Brillant. “And because they range so widely across
different habitats in the ocean, they’re a great way to introduce
people to other marine species and to the effects we have on the marine
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and
appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human
impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the
sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes
and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in
which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information.
About the Canadian Sea Turtle Network:
The Canadian Sea Turtle Network is a charitable organization involving
scientists, commercial fishermen, and coastal community members working
to conserve endangered sea turtles in Canadian waters and worldwide.
SOURCE CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION