The Calusa Herpetological Society
Of Southwest Florida

Thursday, April 5, 20187:00 pm


SPEAKER & TOPIC: Tonight's speaker is George Heinrich from Heinrich Ecological Services (  The title of his talk is "The Big Turtle Year: Celebrating Wild Turtles Across the United States".  

 Turtles play significant ecological roles and are visible elements in many habitats.  A long list of diverse threats to species globally has contributed to approximately 58% of all turtles being threatened with extinction.  Working in negative synergy, these threats present broad and immediate conservation challenges for the second most endangered wildlife taxa in the world.  Despite the urgency of the situation, opportunities for conservation are abundant and the charismatic attraction of turtles makes them an excellent group for education and outreach efforts to enhance ecological, conservation, and environmental awareness.   

   Sixty-two turtle species occur in the United States and many are of conservation concern.  While species from areas such as Asia, South America, and Madagascar often receive the majority of conservation attention, the plight of species within the U.S. quietly goes unnoticed.  The goal of The Big Turtle Year is to increase awareness regarding the status of these often overlooked species and to emphasize their rich diversity, natural history, and conservation needs.  Throughout 2017, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust researchers visited numerous sites accompanied by other biologists and conservationists in an effort to see as many species as possible during a single year, while examining threats and conservation actions needed.  For more information, please visit

   George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours.  A graduate of Memphis State University, his current work focuses on the conservation of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (St. Petersburg, Florida), anthropogenic threats to diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and distributional surveys of the Suwannee cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis) within its southern range.  George is an invited member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council, and is the executive director of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust.

See you there!

WHO'S INVITED ? You are! Anyone with an interest in any aspect of herpetology or herpetoculture is welcome to attend, learn, and exchange their experiences with our friendly membership. Come out to meet others who keep, breed or study reptiles and amphibians, and let them share their fascination with you. We average 15 35 people attending every meeting.

 After the meeting we go to dinner at Sidelines Bar & Grill on the corner of Colonial and Veronica Shoemaker Blvd. We will be in the back room. This is the same building as the old R.J. Gators where the club, for many years,  would have dinner after the meeting.

For more info , call (239) 728-2390 or (239) 481-3525 or  EMAIL:   

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