Over the past 100 years, the population of hawksbill sea turtles has decreased by a shocking 90 percent. In an effort to save this endangered species, animal activist groups have started the “Too Rare to Wear” campaign, calling travelers to Latin America and the Caribbean to avoid buying any and all tortoiseshell souvenirs.
The tourist demand is, largely, the most threatening factor to these incredibly colorful creatures. Trinkets are slowing driving the species to extinction, despite the illegality of selling tortoiseshell products.
With this in mind, the groups behind the “Too Rare to Wear” campaign are doing their best to educate travelers on how to recognize tortoise products, so they may avoid purchasing them. This tactic has also been used to prevent the sale of elephant ivory products and shark fins.
Learn more about the campaign and how you can help here.
Grace Williamson is a travel intern with Paste and a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.