© Jack Versiani Holt

Learn about turtles

Turtles are an ancient group of reptiles that have witnessed the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, with the earliest marine turtle fossils dated at about 110 million years old! Seven species of marine turtle now swim our oceans and all are included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, with four species listed as either Endangered or Critically Endangered. Some marine turtle populations around the world really are in danger of extinction. Unsustainable exploitation, accidental entanglement in fishing gear, marine pollution and habitat destruction are all to blame.

What needs to be done?

MCS believes that we humans should learn how to live in the marine turtles’ world without endangering them. While we cause problems for turtles, we can also provide the conservation solutions, so MCS strives for a people-centered approach to marine turtle conservation and management.

MCS in Action

The MCS Marine Turtle Conservation Programme works in the UK and overseas to find out more about how to protect these spectacular ancient mariners. We coordinate conservation research in the UK and the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, and educate a wide audience about marine turtles and their conservation needs. We promote the reporting of turtles in UK waters, and distribute the UK Turtle Code and support the rescue and rehabilitation of live turtles stranded on UK shores.

© Jack Versiani Holt

Turtles in Trouble

Man’s activities threaten turtle populations all over the world …
even though marine turtles have been swimming our oceans for at least 110 million years!


© Peter Richardson

Turtles in the UK

MCS works to protect these ocean wanderers in UK seas.


Turtles in The Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands Turtle Project is working for better management
of the marine turtle population


Turtle species

There are seven species of marine turtle existing today



Did you know?…

Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles

UK Turtle Code

Advice for sea users on how to deal with marine turtle encounters

Download the .pdf

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