September 10, 2018
There are seven species of sea turtles that live in oceans all around the world. For some of these species, there are specific issues that threaten them. Some are more prone to disease than others, some are on shore more often and have mammal predators, and some are smaller and have marine predators. The various sea turtles don’t all have the same diets, so for some, there are threats to their food sources while others are able to locate natural food sources fairly well.
All species of sea turtles are affected by certain factors. The gender of hatchlings is generally determined by temperature, so climate change has caused some turtle populations to have a smaller breeding pool. All sea turtles are also affected by temperature in general. Some cannot live in the colder waters and are threatened by changes in seasonal freezing.
All sea turtles are desirable to humans. Humans disturb the nests and take the eggs for food or to sell. There are poachers who take turtles to kill so they can sell the shells to tourists. Turtle meat is sought after in some areas. Hatchlings are sometimes captured alive so they can be sold as pets, although sea turtles do not survive well in captivity and none of them make good domestic pets.
Sea turtles are in danger from fishing nets and other fishing gear. When they are caught underwater, they will eventually drown. If they are injured by gear, they often do not survive. Developers buy land along the shores and build vacation homes, permanent homes and recreational facilities. Between the buildings and the people who come to the beach, the nesting sites of all sea turtles are in danger.
All of these factors contribute to the future (or lack of a future) for the sea turtle populations. Most sea turtles are already classified as endangered and others are considered at risk. Seriously efforts are needed to change the situation for the sea turtles or our children and grandchildren may grow up in a world where there are none.
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