After joining one of these communities, you will receive E-mail messages from other community members with interests in common. All E-mail messages sent to the list address are sent to all subscribers and all replies are sent to everyone as well. This develops into a near real-time forum for information exchange.
There is a vast array of list serve communities on the Internet. Some are very focused, while others are devoted to more general subject matter. I will discuss a few of them here.
The oldest of the lot, and still one of the very best dedicated to husbandry, is the Turtle Discussion list. One can subscribe to it at www.icomm.ca/reptile/turtlist.htm.
A list serve dedicated to box turtles can be joined by following the
instructions at Tess Cook’s very fine Box Turtle Care and Conservation Web Page at www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/5504/index.html.
In addition to the above two lists, an incredible assortment of subjects can be found on eGroups at www.egroups.com. To join the eGroups communities, you must register on their site. This registration is free. You are then eligible to join any of their lists that allow open subscription. After subscribing to eGroups you can search for “turtle,” “tortoise,” or other keywords, and be given an overview and the option of subscribing to quite a few fine list serves. Simply follow instructions to subscribe. It is here that the Tortoise Trust list serve makes its home—just search for “tortoisetrust”.
Lists found on the eGroups hub include Manouria (focused on that genus), Turtle_Tort_Adoption (the Turtle Homes adoption list), Asian-Turtle-Crises (devoted to the present crises facing Asian chelonians), Slowcoach (Testudo species), ChineseBoxTurtle (Cuora flavomarginata), Flowerbackboxturtles (C. galbinifrons), Clemmys (the genus), Redfoot (G. carbonaria), Sulcata (G. sulcata), Kleinmanni (T. kleinmanni) and many more.
Other lists on eGroups include redearedsliders, SeaTurtleNews, turtlefacts, Gopherus, ChicagoTurtleClub, TheUtahTurtleSociety, testudo, caribbean-biodiversity, STAR_tortoise, Chaco, and SulcataStuff. While most of the above are devoted to the pets, there are a few that cover conservation issues as well.
The traffic on the above lists can vary from just a few E-mail postings a week for the focused lists to 50 or more a day for the more general ones. Some have as few as 10 or 20 subscribers; the Tortoise Trust list has almost 500.
Regardless of your degree of involvement, list serves offer a great opportunity to learn from others who share our interests, worries and goals.
Editors’ note: If you subscribe to one or more of the more active list serves, we recommend that you set up a separate E-mail account to handle just that mail. This will help you avoid the tedium of sorting through large numbers of additional messages in your personal account.