On the First day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me . . .

. . . A green turtle in the sea! The Sea Turtle Survival League suggests a sea turtle adoption as the perfect present for anyone on your gift list. For those with computer access, adopt a satellite-transmitter-tagged turtle, and follow her travels over the web by visiting www.cccturtle.org. Or, you can choose to adopt and name your own turtle tagged on the warm sand beaches of the Caribbean by our researchers. Either way, your gift adoption will help support international efforts to protect endangered sea turtles and their habitats.

Sea turtles are among the more vulnerable of the world’s animals. All species of sea turtles are in danger of becoming extinct. They begin their lives as hatchlings on sandy shores. On their own from birth, they rely on instinct in their race from the beach and into the sea. Running a gauntlet of threats along the way, as few as 1 out of 1,000 survives long enough to mate and bear their own young. Sea turtles must navigate polluted, net-infested oceans to get from their feeding grounds to the nesting beaches where they lay their eggs, sometimes thousands of miles away. Turtles also must compete with rapidly spreading ocean front development to find suitable nesting sites. In some parts of the world, sea turtles are even hunted and killed as they crawl ashore to nest.

But just as surely as humans are responsible for bringing sea turtles perilously close to extinction, humans can turn the tide in favor of these animals by learning about, caring for, and acting on behalf of sea turtles. You can be an important part of the efforts to bring this change about by adopting a sea turtle as a holiday gift.

The Sea Turtle Survival League is the education and outreach program of the nonprofit Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), the world’s oldest marine turtle research and conservation organization. Founded in 1959 to support the pioneering work of world-renowned naturalist and author Dr. Archie Carr, the Florida-based organization is dedicated to ensuring the survival of sea turtles through research, education, advocacy, and the protection of natural habitats upon which they depend.

This holiday season, you could give your loved ones yet another sweater--or you could give them a gift that will make them and you feel good all year. Adopt a sea turtle on their behalf and you both will be helping an endangered animal survive.

To adopt a sea turtle for yourself, a friend, or a loved one, call the Sea Turtle Survival League at (800) 678-7853 or visit their website at www.cccturtle.org. For a tax-deductible donation of $25, the League will send a personalized color sea turtle adoption certificate, a sea turtle conservation guide, a colorful decal and magnet, and a subscription to CCC’s quarterly newsletter, all in a beautiful folder.