On public lands across the country, we are working to protect turtle habitat, monitor turtle nests and ensure hatchlings make it to the ocean. At Dry Tortugas National Park – the most active turtle nesting site in the Florida Keys – park biologists have been monitoring sea turtle nesting activity within the park since 1980. Learn more about different types of turtles found on public lands: https://on.doi.gov/2rTZ7gf
Sea turtle hatchlings at Dry Tortugas by National Park Service.
Started in 2000, World Turtle Day aims to increase the public’s knowledge about turtles and tortoises. At home wherever they roam, turtles are some of the most diverse creatures – over 300 turtle species exist with 57 species in the U.S., and they’re found on every continent except Antarctica. And they play a vital role in the ecosystem, helping spread seeds on the land and supporting other marine life in the sea. On public lands across the country, we are working to protect turtle habitat and monitor turtle nests and hatchings.
These three bear cubs play in the sand at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska while their mom digs for clams nearby. On the southern end of the park’s Cook Inlet coast, Chinitna Bay offers world-class bear viewing, where as many as 20 coastal brown bears search for food. An incredible experience, bear viewing should be done carefully and responsibly. Stay in groups, keep a safe distance and never try to feed these wild animals. Photo by K. Ilgunas, National Park Service.
Mothers feed, protect and share life lessons like this mama fox. Fox pups spend most of the summer in or near the den with their mothers providing them with food and teaching them how to hunt. When the pups are about seven months old, they’re ready to strike out on their own. While this looks like a tender moment, it’s a teaching moment with the mama fox is scolding one of her young for biting her tail.
These cute baby bighorn sheep put the baaahhh in Badlands National Park. Among the rugged and colorful South Dakota landscape, bighorn sheep thrive as they scamper over steep rock formations and bound through the grasslands. April through June is the best time to see lambs playing in the park. Photo by Larry McAfee, National Park Service.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States where black bears can live in wild, natural surroundings. Bears inhabit all elevations of the park – with an estimated 1,500 bears living in the park. Bear cubs are usually born in the winter and emerge from their dens in late March or early April. Bears can run 30 miles per hour, can swim very well and are good tree climbers like this baby bear pictured here. Bears can live 12-15 years or more, but animals that have access to human foods and garbage have a life expectancy of only half. Do your part by using the park’s bear-proof dumpsters and disposing of all garbage properly. Photo by Sidney Cromer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
It’s the best time of year! The first baby bison of spring was recently spotted at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. Calves are orange-red in color, earning them the nickname “red dogs.” They can walk within 3 hours of birth, and before long, nursery groups of calves will romp around together, never far from their mothers’ watchful eyes. Check out more bison facts: http://on.doi.gov/1Oc7VXg Photo by National Park Service.
The night time hoots of owls can make the forest a little spooky, but the look of this young great horned owl is just terrifying. Though it’s covered in fluffy feathers, its dominant features are its huge yellow eyes and powerful talons. Soon, this owl at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado will learn how to fly and become one of nature’s most skilled hunters; feared by prey across the country. Photo by Carole Meeter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A group of river otters is called a romp. Commonly found in the South, Great Lakes region and in the Pacific Northwest, this romp was spotted hanging out at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. While they engage in playful behavior with each other, they are deadly hunters and can be dangerous when their territory is invaded. Please enjoy watching them from a distance. Photo by James Perdue, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, @usfwsmtnprairie.