ATO is recognized by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt, scientific NGO incorporated in Massachusetts, USA.
Together, the United States and Mexico support one-third of the freshwater turtle species on Earth. Over 137 terminal taxa—species, subspecies, and evolutionarily significant lineages—occur in diverse habitats across the continent.
Many species of North American turtles are of conservation concern, threatened by a range of factors including forest and wetland fragmentation, pathogens, and collection of adult turtles for pet markets. In order for viable, functional populations to persist, it is necessary to identify and prioritize functional landscapes for conservation and management, and to build a constituency for strategic, empirically-driven land conservation.
American Turtle Observatory is a network of scientists, researchers, agencies, communities, and landowners responding to conservation opportunities in focal landscapes and developing conservation strategies for widespread species of concern and restricted-range species. We focus entirely on supporting the natural function of wild turtle populations, and we do not employ or support captive management techniques. We hope you'll join us or donate now to support ATO's important programs.
We work across the United States and Mexico at multiple scales and in a variety of landscapes, including the most species-rich ecoregions as well as those areas identified through conservation planning as critical to the survival of species of concern. >>>LEARN MORE
We focus on native freshwater turtles in their natural, functional habitats, including both widespread species of conservation concern and species with highly restricted ranges. For each focal species, we are working to identify the most important remaining habitats. >>>LEARN MORE