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Rerelease of Soft Shelled Turtles Into Israel’s Rivers!

July 22, 2009
Soft shelled turtles make resurgence in Israels rivers!

Soft shelled turtles make a resurgence in Israel's rivers!

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the turtle population in Israel was being severely threatened by pollution and rapid development within their habitat and their numbers began to drop rapidly.  Over the past 40 years many environmental groups have been working to help rehabilitate the turtle population in Israel, and they have made significant progress.  Now because of environmental groups like Zalul these turtles are being released into the wild.

The water conditions in many areas are not yet perfect but these turtles are resilient and have been spotted since their release in the Yarkon River as well as many other waterways.  At the beginning of July, at the Ashdod press conference about the opening of the Lachish River to recreational activity, Zalul staff member Shahar Brinenberg spotted turtles in the river – another sign that life is returning to the river.

Although progress is being made these turtles are still classified as critically endangered and there is still lots of work to do to make sure that they can thrive in the habitat that Zalul, along with other environmental groups, are working diligently to preserve for them.  Photos from the Ashdod press conference can be viewed at along with photographs from other Zalul campaigns and events.

For more about the return of the soft shelled turtles, view this article from Haaretz:

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