- They are the reptiles of the order Testudines.
- They live in almost every ocean basin throughout the world, nesting on tropical and subtropical beaches.
- They migrate long distances to feed, often crossing entire oceans.
- They spend their entire lives in sea, except when adult females come ashore to lay eggs several times per season every 2 to 5 years.
- Different species rely on a different diet like sea grasses, jellyfish, soft-bodied animals, crabs etc.
- Six of the seven species of sea turtle are at varying threat levels on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
- The hawksbill turtle and the Kemp’s ridley trutle are critically endangered.
- The green turtle is endangered.
- The loggerhead turtle, the leather back turtle and olive ridley turtle are vulnerable.
- Only the flatback turtle isn’t listed as threatened, but there’s insufficient data for an assessment.
Some threats to turtles are:
- Habitat loss (like uncontrolled coastal development, vehicle traffic on beaches destroys the nesting and foraging habitats).
- Climate change (impacts the nesting sites).
- Altered sand temperatures (affects the sex of hatchlings).
- Entanglement in fishing nets.
- Anthropogenic factor (slaughtering for shells, meat and eggs).
- They are also killed by humans for aphrodisiacs and decoration.
- Some of the conservation efforts which have helped to save turtles in many locations are:
- Protecting beaches
- Regulating fishing
- Establishing marine protected areas
Section : Environment & Ecology