23th May (’22): World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day is an annual observance occurring every May 23. It began in 2000 and is sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue. The day was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world as well as to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. A study on the effects of biodiversity awareness days listed World Turtle Day as an example of how they increase the internet search traffic on the protected species.

World Turtle Day is celebrated around the globe in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities. Turtle Day lesson plans and craft projects encourage teaching about turtles in classrooms.


Founded in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day. The term “WORLD TURTLE DAY” is trademarked by Susan Tellem of Malibu, California.

Featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, the day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

In 2013, over 160 free Turtle Day lesson plans and teaching materials were sent out to classrooms for use with over 5,500 students. Lesson plans were provided by the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group (TTPG), an organisation that is open to all people interested in the welfare of chelonians.