It is my pleasure to present to you Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Volume 17, Issue 1. This is a very special issue for a variety of reasons. With Volume 1 published in November 1993, we are celebrating the 25th year of our history bringing you stories about all things turtle and tortoise! This issue also marks the inaugural anniversary of our publishing partnership with Turtle Conservancy (TC). It is directly through this partnership that we are able to keep costs low and maximize the diversity of authors who publish in CCB! In March of this year I was invited by TC's Executive Director Eric Goode to visit their compound in Ojai, California, during a TC board meeting. It was my great pleasure to meet with Eric and the TC Board of Directors, one of whom is our Founding Editor Dr. Anders Rhodin. Coming away from that meeting I could not help but feel huge satisfaction in knowing how natural the CCB–TC connection felt and how friendly everyone was.
With Volume 17 now in your hands or on your computer screen, I am especially pleased to refer you to the first article in this volume. It is an article by Dr. Marco A. López-Luna and colleagues entitled “A Distinctive New Species of Mud Turtle from Western México”. During my 6 years as Executive Editor, this is the first time that a description of a new species has been published in CCB. The Vallarta mud turtle, Kinosternon vogti, is the newest of the Kinosternids, and is aptly named after one of the most influential turtle biologists in the Americas, Dr. Richard Vogt. Dr. Vogt recently published his own book with co-author John Legler entitled “The Turtles of Mexico”, but this came out prior to the discovery of this new species. I suppose we'll have to wait for the second volume of “The Turtles of Mexico” to see the Vallarta mud turtle included in its pages!! At any rate, congratulations to Dr. López-Luna for a marvelous discovery and to Dr. Vogt for the honor of having a turtle species named after him!!
Turtles and tortoises occur in most corners of our world; they are a global resource for us all to cherish and protect. We are at a challenging time for many species, with pet-trade collection and habitat destruction being two of the most concerning challenges to date. As evidenced by this issue, Chelonian Conservation and Biology continues to serve as a venue for authors from a variety of countries and through our pages, I hope that past, present, and future articles in CCB will continue to inspire and educate any and all people interested in their research and conservation. In addition to the new species description, the present issue has articles about olive ridley sea turtles in India and Mexico, yellow-spotted river turtles in Ecuador, spotted turtles, spiny softshells, and Agassiz's tortoise in the United States, and green sea turtles and Kemp's ridley turtles in Malaysia and Mexico, respectively. It is the first of our two issues for the year and I'm delighted to be able to bring you such a diverse set of articles.
To close, I would like to gratefully acknowledge all the authors who submit their manuscripts to CCB and all the reviewers that continue to provide their important job of peer-review to make CCB possible. It goes without saying that our CCB editorial team is amazing: Founding Editor Anders Rhodin; Editors Peter Lindeman and Jeffrey Lovich; Associate Editors Luca Luiselli, Josh Ennen, Vivian Páez, Sandra Hochscheid, Cristina Jones, and Peter Paul van Dijk; and Consulting Editors Peter C.H. Pritchard, Russ Mittermeier, and Eric Goode. And finally, a huge thanks to Peter Burns, Eleanor Lohmann, and the rest of the Allen Press team for always being supportive and patient as we push out each new issue of Chelonian Conservation and Biology.