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As the world deals with the global health crisis that is the Covid-19 pandemic, experts continue to warn the public about the link between illegal wildlife trade and the release of natural reservoirs of deadly viruses through wet markets. The same such markets whose demand sparked the Asian Turtle Crisis, the catalyst that led to the creation of the Turtle Survival Alliance in 2001. These inhumane markets serve as perfect grounds for cross-species disease transmission to humans, and the markets of India are no exception.
Large scale exotic meat markets are rampant across the country. One of the most common types of exotic meats found here comes in the form of freshwater turtles, sourced from widespread and heavily ingrained illegal trade networks. It is imperative for this illegal trade and exotic meat consumption to be immediately stopped in India if we wish to avoid zoonotic health emergencies in the future.
The India Turtle Program, led jointly by the TSA India Program and the Wildlife Conservation Society-India, has produced this video with the intention of bringing heightened awareness to this insidious industry. Through this narrative we can increase public awareness about the imminent threats faced by India's freshwater turtles. Although many of the country's species are protected at the highest level of protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, thousands of turtles are still harvested, illegally trafficked, and sold in wet markets. High demand for turtle meat, especially during important religious festivals, fuels the prevalence of such markets, in bold defiance of local, regional, and national authorities and enforcement agencies.

We hope the message delivered through this video serves as an appeal to members of the public who consume turtles or keep them as pets to understand the long term impact of such practices. Left unchecked, these markets represent a ticking time bomb that could make India ‘ground zero’ for the next zoonotic pandemic.

A Message from the President

09 April 2020 |

Dear Valued Supporter, While these are indeed troubled times for turtles, today the same can be said for the people that help ensure their survival. We want you to know that our thoughts are with you – our friends, supporters, and partners – as we navigate this uncertain and very challenging time. This report will…

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TSA Webinar #3

06 April 2020 |

In our effort to continue educating turtle lovers of all ages during these trying times, the TSA invites you to join us for our FREE LIVE WEBINAR! Turtles 201: Q & A with Jordan Gray Get YOUR Turtle Questions Ready! In this webinar the TSA’s Communication and Outreach Coordinator Jordan Gray will continue teaching you the basics about…

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TSA Webinar #2

30 March 2020 |

In our effort to continue educating turtle lovers of all ages during these trying times, the TSA invites you to join us for our FREE LIVE WEBINAR! Turtles 101: Q & A with Jordan Gray Get YOUR Turtle Questions Ready! In this webinar, the TSA’s Communication and Outreach Coordinator Jordan Gray will teach you the basics…

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Endangered Turtle Care Continues

26 March 2020

Dalton State College in North Georgia has moved to remote learning this semester due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), but the turtles at their (TAC) Turtle Assurance Colony, still need care. TAC is part of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) global efforts, and is managed by Chris Manis, assistant professor of biology and curator of the…

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TSA Webinar #1!

26 March 2020 |

In our effort to continue educating turtle lovers of all ages during these trying times, the TSA invites you to join us for our FREE LIVE WEBINAR! Transforming Passion for Turtles into Effective Conservation Action TSA’s Communication and Outreach Coordinator Jordan Gray will take you on a journey around the world to see how passion…

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Zoo Knoxville and Turtle Survival Alliance Awarded $50,000 Grant To Return Rescued Tortoises To The Wild In Madagascar

05 March 2020 |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: TINA ROLEN, ZOO KNOXVILLEtrolen@zooknoxville.org/865.919.1240 RICK HUDSON, TURTLE SURVIVAL ALLIANCErhudson@fortworthzoo.org /817.343.7380 Knoxville, Tenn. (March 3, 2020) – Zoo Knoxville and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) have been awarded a $50,000 grant to support the return of 1,000 critically endangered Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) rescued from illegal wildlife trafficking operations to the wild in…

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Peter Pritchard: Larger Than Life

26 February 2020 |

“Our collective hearts reach out to the Pritchard family on this day of sad news. It’s hard to avoid hyperbole when speaking of Peter. He truly was a “giant” in the field of turtle biology and conservation. For so many, Peter was a trusted mentor and generous friend. He served as a source of inspiration,…

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Saving turtles together – AZA SAFE American Turtles Program

25 February 2020 |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007 Writer: Casey Phillips New national partnership begins to protect America’s turtles, end illegal trafficking Chattanooga, Tenn. (Feb. 25, 2020) – Whether they’re hiding them in suitcases, stuffing them into socks or (poorly) disguising them as candy, wildlife traffickers have concocted many schemes to smuggle thousands of turtles out…

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The Turtle Survival Alliance’s NAFTRG Enters New Frontiers of Turtle Research in Texas!

18 February 2020

The Turtle Survival Alliance’s North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group has just published their first major manuscript regarding Alligator Snapping Turtles in Texas! The article published in the Urban Naturalist journal can be found HERE!It is our hope that this is the first of many manuscripts detailing the amazing data being taken in Texas by…

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A Small Victory on Myanmar’s Chindwin River

13 February 2020

Kalyar Platt This morning Myo Min Win and Steve Platt visited a sandbank near basecamp along the Upper Chindwin River where two clutches of Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) eggs are being incubated. Their plan was to unearth both clutches, determine if the eggs were fertile, and rebury them along with a device that automatically…

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Saving the World's Most Endangered Turtles and Tortoises

Coordinating Global Response to Confiscation Events

The TSA has made a bold commitment:


Zero Turtle Extinctions

in the 21st Century