FunNature & Animal3 tips to help sea turtles from home

3 tips to help sea turtles from home


Sea turtles are one of the most endangered living beings in the animal world. Every June 16, World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated, with which it is intended to make society aware of their imminent risk of disappearance if we do not ensure the survival of their species.

Of the seven existing species of sea turtles, six of them are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Only the Prieta turtle ( Chelonia agassizii ) is spared.

Three of them are declared vulnerable (medium-term risk): the Loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ), the Olive Ridley turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) and the Leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea). In danger (high risk in the near future) is the Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) and, the most threatened, in danger of extinction (high risk in the near future) we find two species: the Pacific Hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ), the Kemp’s ridley or Kempi turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ).

The disappearance of any species entails serious risks for the ecosystems that will affect us. Sea turtles feed on sea sponges, thus preventing them from reproducing uncontrollably on coral reefs and causing their death. Another of its nutritional sources are jellyfish , whose lack of control would cause the reduction of the fish population, or the seabed, which promotes the health of the seabed (breeding place, food and home of other animals).

There are various reasons why the conservation of these species is threatened: ocean pollution, climate change , fishing nets and poaching . Each and every one of us, even if we live far from the coast, can and should help preserve these animals. And not only those of us who have developed an exacerbated biophilia.

1. Reduce, reuse and recycle

Only 9% of the plastic produced to date has been recycled, 12% has been incinerated and 79% has ended up in the environment or landfills, which in turn can also end up in the sea.

The three “rs” that are key to the conservation of our planet. And, above all, applied in that order.

52% of sea turtles have plastics in their digestive system . As we have said before, some species of turtles feed on jellyfish and a plastic bag floating in the water looks a lot like one of them.

22% of turtles that have ingested plastic die from ruptured internal organs or intestinal obstructions . And, even if they survive, the existence of plastic in their digestive tract can change their buoyancy, which negatively influences their development and reproduction.

But it is not only about avoiding the unsustainable generation of waste that we generate in order to have cleaner seas and oceans, we must also think that the production of plastics generates greenhouse gas emissions. This entails several risks for the turtles:

  • The loss of habitats more violent weather (hurricanes, storms…) and the rise in sea level.
  • The descent of reproductive males: the sex of the turtle hatchlings depends on the heat of the sand where the eggs are. From a certain temperature, all the offspring are female. There are already species, such as the green turtle, in which 99% are born female.

2. Report the purchase/sale of your items

Another of the great threats to sea turtles is illegal fishing. Despite the fact that trade in their products is prohibited in most countries, many tortoises continue to be captured for their meat, skin, and shells . But there is also an illicit market for their eggs , which are stolen from the beaches, which brutally skews the birth of offspring (only a very small percentage of eggs manage to survive).

If you see any item made with these rare reptiles in any store or online advertisement, report it to the environmental authorities.

3. Disclose

Tell your family and friends about the situation of sea turtles or share it on your social networks! It is an issue that affects us all, since their disappearance is not only limited to the death and suffering of these animals, it will trigger negative effects on the environment, other animals and people.

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