Authored by Cody Bliss
Growing up I was diagnosed with what was referred to as a speech impediment but really all it meant was that I could hardly pronounce an “R” properly. Crayon was crown and brake was bwake and if it were still 1996 and I were to try to say “world” it would have sounded more like wood. So in honor of my elementary school speech impediment, this year I will be celebrating “Wood” Turtle Day in lieu of World Turtle Day!
In just a few short weeks, The Orianne Society will be celebrating World Turtle Day (May 23rd) by traveling to Vermont to begin our (not so) top secret filming project on the elusive Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta). Due to its extensive habitat requirements, the Wood Turtle often represents undisturbed pristine habitats. Because of this, Orianne has selected the Wood Turtle to serve as our flagship species for our Freshwater Turtle Conservation Priority within the Great Northern Forests Initiative. Commonly identified by the bright reddish-orange color on their throat and underside of legs, this turtle is not only charismatic but a true icon for rivers and wild spaces in the northeast United States. The only problem: these wild spaces are becoming less and less wild. Threats abound throughout this region that are challenging the existence of not only the Wood Turtles but dozens of other rare and endangered mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Orianne staff has teamed up with Folk Hero Films to deliver a professionally filmed video focused solely on the Wood Turtles. It is through this film that we hope to promote our conservation efforts for Wood Turtles in the Great Northern Forest and to communicate the importance of protecting the habitat in this region. Along the way, we will be keeping you up to date with exclusive behind the scenes footage, backstage interviews and sneak peeks! The film is set to premiere in late summer and will be in some select theaters near you as well as online.
So, whether you are celebrating Wood Turtle Day or World Turtle Day this year, take a moment to consider supporting these timeless creatures that reach far beyond the river beds and forests floors.
Be a part of something GREAT!
With so many wonderful organizations contributing to the conservation of wildlife around the world, it is easy to understand how the secretive lifestyles of many reptiles and amphibians get overlooked. We intend to change that! Hidden and forgotten no more, the Wood Turtle will be making its debut to the big screen this year, but first, we need your help! Interested in being a part of something great? Here are just a few ways you can become involved in the Wood Turtle film!
• Sponsor various aspects of our film premiers
• Donate items to raffle at the events
• Volunteer either at the event or remotely
• Spread the word and share our information
And before you continue on with your day, don’t forget to become a member or contribute a donation by visiting www.orianne.org/donate. We even have a Wood Turtle membership level! These donations are the lifeblood of our organization and assist with projects such as education outreach, land protection and restoration, and important monitoring and inventory of rare and imperiled species. We thank you for your continuous support!