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The Mission of the
IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG)
is to identify and document threats to the survival of
all species of tortoises and freshwater turtles,
and to help catalyze conservation action
to ensure that none become extinct
and that sustainable populations of all species
persist in the wild.


Tortoises in the Mist
Galapagos Giant Tortoises, Chelonoidis vicina,
on the rim of Volcan Alcedo, Galápagos, Ecuador.
Photo by Peter C.H. Pritchard

Open Letter from the TFTSG Chair

As the official co-host with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) of the Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, we have been following the comments and concerns expressed by its participants about the initial inclusion of a speaker who has a history of inappropriate conference language and behavior. The IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) condemns such behavior, as well as any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, ethnicity, age, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation. To make it clear that such conduct is unacceptable to the 300+ members of the TFTSG, I as Chair, with the support of the TFTSG Executive Committee, have removed that TFTSG member from his two previous leadership roles in the group. Effective as of this past Monday, 10 Aug 2020, he is no longer a member of the TFTSG Steering Committee or a Regional Vice Chair. We strongly support the decision already made by TSA to disinvite this speaker from presenting at the Symposium. We also strongly support, and will be involved in, the creation of a joint task force to review Symposium policies related to inclusivity and diversity as we go forward. As Chair I have continued the long-established policy within the TFTSG to work toward greater diversity and inclusivity among our members, further strengthening the presence of conservationists from developing nations and female scientists in both the group and in its leadership roles. With the help and support of the TFTSG Executive Committee, I will continue in these efforts, and we will work to further improve our practices and policies to ensure the highest standards of conduct in our field.

Craig Stanford, Chair, TFTSG,
and on behalf of the TFTSG Executive Committee
12 August 2020

Access the latest updates to our massive
CBFTT Monograph Project:

Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises

Published by Chelonian Research Foundation and Turtle Conservancy

112 separate accounts, 1,899 pages total,
146 species and subspecies covered,
8 annotated checklists
7 for modern taxa, 1 for recently extinct taxa),
223 contributing authors

Latest update published online here on
26 January 2021

Emys trinacris — Sicilian Pond Turtle

Access the latest update of our
Checklist of Turtles of the World:

Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy,
Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (8th Ed.)

by the
Turtle Taxonomy Working Group
of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

8 annotated checklists currently available
(7 in the CBFTT monograph project)

Latest update published online here on
3 August 2017

Access the latest update to our
“Turtles in Trouble” reports on the

World’s 25+ Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles:

compiled and published by the
IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG)
in collaboration with the
Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF)
and the Turtle Conservation Coalition (TCC)

4 quadrennial Top 25 Lists currently available

Latest update posted online here on
3 March 2018


Behler Turtle Conservation Award
2020 Honoree – Jim Juvik

Honoring Excellence, Outstanding Contributions, and Leadership
in the International Chelonian Conservation and Biology Communities

The “Nobel Prize” of Turtle Conservation

James O. Juvik



Pritchard Turtle Conservation Awards

Honoring Lifetime Achievements in Turtle Conservation and Biology

2020 Honorees

John Cann                                                         Linda J. Cayot


Access our

Checklist of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Turtles of the World:

Turtles and Tortoises of the World During the Rise and Global Spread of Humanity:
First Checklist and Review of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Chelonians

by the
Turtle Extinctions Working Group
[Anders G.J. Rhodin, Scott Thomson, Georgios L. Georgalis, Hans-Volker Karl, Igor G. Danilov, Akio Takahashi,
Marcelo S. de la Fuente, Jason R. Bourque, Massimo Delfino, Roger Bour, John B. Iverson, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Peter Paul van Dijk]
of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

1 annotated checklist currently available

Published online here on
16 April 2015

Access the latest updates to our
TFTSG Turtle Taxonomy Literature Database:

Turtles of the World:
Online Turtle Taxonomic Literature Database and PDF Library

compiled and collected by the
Turtle Taxonomy Working Group
of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

958 turtle PDF’s currently available,

Latest additions posted online here on
29 July 2019

PDF’s added in 2013–2019 are marked

(Banner photo: Malayan Snail-eating Turtle, Malayemys macrocephala, from Thailand; photo by Peter Paul van Dijk)