Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles:
  • 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.
IUCN status:
  • 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.
Conservation efforts:
  • 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

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