As featured on the Ads of the World website, last year the Woodland Park Zoo initiated their “Animals Shouldn’t Come in Limited Edition” campaign featuring, among other species, a whimsical interpretation of the western pond turtle. The number in the corner – 1,100 – represents the number of western pond turtles remaining in the wild when the campaign kicked off in 2010.
In 1991, the Woodland Park Zoo in collaboration with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife initiated the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project. The project was conceived to help recover the species after the population of western pond turtles in Washington was estimated to number as few as 150 individual turtles remaining in the wild. In the years since, the project has been responsible for the release of over 1,000 “head-starts,” turtles taken into captivity as hatchlings, reared at the zoo, and then released back into the wild the following summer at a size-class large enough to increase their chances of survival. Today, Washington state’s western pond turtle population is estimated to be 1,500 turtles, and the project celebrated its state-proclaimed 20th Anniversary this June! Happy belated birthday!
Giclee prints of the Limited Edition artwork are still available for purchase.