What is ShellBank?
Did you know hawksbill turtles from different regions are genetically distinct. If we can trace the tortoiseshell back to its original nesting population, we can identify those populations that have been targeted in the past and may still be targeted today. Building this DNA database - ShellBank - enables us to identify those hawksbills most at risk so we can improve turtle protection.
How do I identify real tortoiseshell?
It can often be hard to tell the difference between real and fake tortoiseshell. Below, we share some tips so you can learn how to tell the difference. However, your safest bet is to Think Before You Buy
and avoid these products.
Why is this important?
Nearly 9 million hawksbill turtles have been traded for their shell over the past 150 years. Although the international trade in hawksbill turtles and their shell was banned in 1977, an illegal trade continues in the Asia-Pacific. Donated tortoiseshell products will be added to the ground-breaking ShellBank and help to play a part in the survival of this species. Stay tuned for more updates.