Today is the World Turtle Day! On this occasion, learn more about the European pond turtle which is the only turtle species that lives in Poland naturally. This medium-sized turtle is under protection, therefore the special reserves to keep them safe can be found in Poland.
The European pond turtle is commonly named the iron frog and can live up to 110 years in the wild. Turtles can lay eggs there and then they are freed to the wild. In spring, they usually lay their eggs on land, typically near water reservoirs. When the water level in the wild is warm and high enough small turtles leave the reserves and start their lives in the wild.
This species has been under protection in Poland since 1998 and the first World Turtle Day was celebrated on 23 May 2000. Ownership of wild-caught specimens is prohibited. Also, it is very dangerous to touch the turtles that live outside the reserves. Because of the high-stress level, the turtles can empty their bladders to defend themselves. By such behaviour, humans can impact the processes of turtles’ reproduction. Urine is necessary for them to build their nests and lay eggs.
Due to the constant development of agriculture and water pollution these species disappear. In order to prevent its extinction, special reserves were established, for example in Poleski National Park in the eastern part of Poland.