Over 40% of any species loss, let alone the humble turtle, could be traumatic for our environment as we don’t know exactly what part each species plays entirely. Our grand experiment of human development has put an enormous strain on our environment long before we actually knew how something as vast and complex as our environment works. For example, if the turtle is lost to us, who can say, as this effect radiates through our environment, what affect this will ultimately have?
2011 Designated YEAR OF THE TURTLE! Year of the Turtle “Turtles are disappearing from the planet faster than any other group of animal. Today, nearly 50% of turtle species are identified as threatened with extinction. However, it's not too late for our turtle heritage to be salvaged. The United States has more endemic turtle species than anywhere on Earth; a turtle biodiversity hotspot. Our careful stewardship can preserve the rare species and keep 'common species common.'”
One of the reasons for the turtle’s decline—besides habitat loss and degradation, overharvest of wild turtles for food, traditional medicines, and pets; mortality from roads, agricultural machinery, fishing bycatch, and predators; invasive exotic species and diseases; and loss of unique genetic makeup due to hybridization—is Climate Change.
Though we don’t know everything about every role of every species on this planet, we can be reasonably assured that tough as it is to live with humans, who want the entire environment, Climate Change which is now caused by humans will make their lives tougher. Whether you personally care about turtles or not, it should ring a note of alarm that almost every aspect of our environment now has to include Climate Change.