panda.org/?153802%2FwwwpandaorglacmarineturtlespublicationsUseand Conservation. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from Troëng, S., & Drews,C. (2009, January 07). Money Talks: Economic Aspects of Marine Turtle turtles-threats/Sea Turtle Threats.(n.d.
). Retrieved November 29, 2017, from http://www.seeturtles.org/sea-http://seaturtlespacecoast.
org/about.html Sea Turtle PreservationSociety. (n.d.).
Retrieved December 03, 2017, from http://www.seaturtle-world.com/sea-turtle-predators/SeaTurtle Predators. (2014, January 04). Retrieved December01, 2017, from http://www.seaturtle-world.com/sea-turtle-habitat/Sea Turtle Habitat.(2014, January 04).
Retrieved November 27, 2017, from diet/Sea Turtle Diet. (n.d.).
Retrieved November 27, 2017, from http://www.seeturtles.org/sea-turtle-https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/sea-turtle# Sea Turtle. (n.d.).
Retrieved December 01, 2017, from turtleconservation successes. Science Advances, 3(9).doi:10.
1126/sciadv.1600730Mazaris, A. D.,Schofield, G., Gkazinou, C., Almpanidou, V., & Hays, G. C.
(2017). Globalsea Works Cited (Continued)threats-marine-debris/RetrievedNovember 30, 2017, from https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-InformationAbout Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris –Sea Turtle Conservancy.
Conservancy.(n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2017, from https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-threats-commercial-trawl-fishing/Information About SeaTurtles: Threats from Commercial Trawl Fishing –Sea Turtle conservation-strategies/RetrievedDecember 03, 2017, from https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-InformationAbout Sea Turtles: Conservation Strategies – Sea TurtleConservancy.
(n.d.). introduction/November27, 2017, from https://conserveturtles.org/information-about-sea-turtles-an-Information About SeaTurtles: An Introduction – Sea Turtle Conservancy. (n.
d.). Retrieved poaching/IllegalPoaching. (n.d.).
Retrieved November 30, 2017, from http://www.seeturtles.org/illegal-http://www.bonaireturtles.org/wp/explore/are-sea-turtles-worth-saving/Are Sea Turtles WorthSaving? (n.d.
). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from 03,2017, from https://conserveturtles.org/about-stc-organizational-background/AboutSTC: Organizational Background – Sea TurtleConservancy. (n.d.). Retrieved December WorksCited Sea turtles play an important role in the ecosystem andthe marine ecosystem would suffer if they were to go extinct. They face manythreats; most of which are human caused.
Activities like poaching and fishinghave caused six of the seven species to be classified as endangered orvulnerable. Most of the threats they face are human caused but that also meansthey are preventable. The good news is that there are many people out thereadvocating for them and working hard to protect them. Hopefully if we continueto protect the sea turtles and conserve their habitats we can rebuild theirpopulation and these beautiful creatures will be around for many more years tocome. There is a lot of protection in place for the sea turtlesand it seems to be working. According to the article, “Global sea turtleconservation successes” there has been a slight improvement in the sea turtlepopulations. “Over the last 10 years, reports for individual sea turtle nestingsites (rookeries) include both conservation success stories, with long-termincreases in the abundance of females and their nest numbers, and declines,leading to imminent, likely localized extinctions” (Mazaris, Schofield,Gkazinou, Almpanidou, and Hays, 2017, para. 3).
Although there seems to be aslight increase in some of the species of sea turtles it’s still important todo what we can do protect them. Conservation is the key to continuing success.”Positive trends in abundance are likely linked to the effective protection ofeggs and nesting females, as well as reduced bycatch” (Mazaris et al., 2017,para. 1). Conclusion People don’t need to belong to groups like the WorldWildlife Fund and the Sea Turtle Preservation Society to help protect the seaturtles.
There are little steps normal people can take to help make theenvironment a safer place for sea turtles. One simple step everyone can take isto clean up any trash on the beach whether it’s trash one brings to the beachwith them or trash left by others. Picking up trash provides a cleaner beachfor females to nest and reduces the likelihood of sea turtles eating somethingthey shouldn’t. Another simple step is to keep one’s distance.
Sea turtles needtheir space, so they can eat and nest peacefully. Another way people can helpis if someone notices an injured sea turtle that they call professionals forhelp and not try to help themselves. They can further injury the sea turtle bynot handling the situation properly.
Also, if someone notices others disturbingor harming sea turtles it’s best to call the local police. One more way peoplecan be helpful is to simply advocate for the sea turtles. It doesn’t take muchto spread awareness about the importance of sea turtles and their habitats. Themore people that understand how important it is to leave their habitatsundisturbed the better off the sea turtle population will be.
The most important law protecting the sea turtles is theEndangered Species Act of 1973. This act protects animals that are classifiedas endangered or threaten which qualifies six of the seven species of seaturtles. “This designation makes it illegal to harm, harass or kill any seaturtles, hatchlings or their eggs. It is also illegal to import, sell, ortransport turtles or their products” (“Information About Sea Turtles:Conservation Strategies,” n.d., para.
2). The law protects animals nationwide.Several individual states also have their own laws that protect the sea turtlesand their habitats. For example, “Some local governments have passedregulations to eliminate or control artificial beachfront lighting, which isknown to deter females from nesting and disorient hatchlings” (“InformationAbout Sea Turtles: Conservation Strategies,” n.d.
, para. 4). One international regulationis the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species” which alsoprotects endangered or threaten species.
“Sea turtles are covered underAppendix I of this agreement and receive protection from international trade byall countries that have signed the treaty” (“Information About Sea Turtles:Conservation Strategies,” n.d., para. 3). These laws are a step in the rightdirection to help protect the sea turtle population, but it isn’t alwayspossible to enforce them. To put a stop to poaching we need to find better waysto strictly enforce the laws and have heavier punishments for those caughtbreaking any of these laws.
It may not be possible to control everyone but byeducating as many people as possible we can help people realize the importanceof sea turtles and how to get involved in protecting them. A third group devoted to protecting sea turtles is theSea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS). Their goal is to educate the public asmuch as possible, so everyone can do their part. They are trained to handleturtle-related emergencies as well as help with beach clean-ups. STPS motivatesthe community to get involved in the conversation of sea turtles. They educatecitizens on things like threats they face, human disturbances, and what theycan do to help protect sea turtles. STPS are also trained to handle localturtle-related emergencies.
They will rescue any sea turtle in need and ifnecessary bring them to a rehabilitation center. Once a month STPS will cleanup local beaches to give the sea turtles a safe environment as well as invitethe community to volunteer to help (“Sea Turtle Preservation Society,” n.d.).There are many groups all over the world dedicated to protecting sea turtles.They are each doing their part to help with the conservation and protection ofthe sea turtles, spread awareness, educate others, and help rebuild the seaturtle population. In addition to these groups there are laws in place toprotect the sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) is another groupdedicated to saving the sea turtles.
Their goals are not only to protect thesecreatures and their habitats but to also educate everyone about sea turtles andtheir importance. They are strong advocates for sea turtles and work hard toget people involved in protecting the sea turtles. They do extensive amounts ofresearch to help better understand the sea turtles.
The research they do helpsthem learn more about the sea turtles’ habits and how to better protect them.STC advocates for the conservation of sea turtles’ habitats. They push hard forfunding to set up and protect safe areas for the sea turtles to live and nest.STC also works hard to bring awareness and educate local communities about seaturtles.
They want to get as many people possible involved in the protection ofsea turtles (“About STC: Organizational Background,” n.d.). The Sea TurtleConservancy is doing their part to protect the sea turtles by educating thepublic and spreading awareness. One group that is dedicated to not only saving the seaturtles, but all species and their habitats is the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).Their goal is to protect animals all over the planet and help rebuild theirhomes. WWF works closely with groups in the community to help protect seaturtles from their biggest threats. One unintentional threat sea turtles faceis being caught by a fishermen’s hook or net.
WWF try to motivate fishermen touse more turtle-friendly equipment to prevent them from being unintentionallycaught and killed. WWF also works hard to fight illegal poaching. Poaching is away to make money for some countries, so WWF helps provide other methods ofmaking money so that poaching will no longer be a necessary way of life forthese areas. In addition to that they teach rangers how to monitor and protect seaturtle nesting grounds. Another WWF goal is to protect the sea turtles’ homes.They fight for protected areas where sea turtles can live freely without thedanger of humans present (“Sea Turtle,” n.d.).
The World Wildlife Fund is doingtheir part to put a stop to sea turtle threats and helping rebuild theirpopulation. Sea turtles are an endangered species but fortunatelythere are some forms of protection in place to help save the population. Thereare groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and Sea Turtle Conservancy activelyworking hard to protect the sea turtles. There are also some laws in place suchas the Endangered Species Act to protect them.
Additionally, there are simplesteps people can take to help do their part in helping preserve the sea turtlepopulation.SeaTurtle Protection and Conservation The most natural threat sea turtles come across is predators.The shell on their back provides a lot of protection from bigger animals makingthem a difficult target. Their biggest enemies are killer whales, sharks, andcrocodiles.
Sea turtle eggs are most likely to be the victim of a predatorattack. They have a bunch of different predators, “Among the most common are:dogs, raccoons, ants, crabs, various kinds of seabirds, rats, snakes, dingoes,jackals, lizards, and foxes” (“Sea Turtle Predators,” 2014, para. 4). Baby seaturtles can be eaten once they are hatched usually by seabirds or large fish.Predators are a natural part of life and a normal threat many animal faces. Thebiggest threat sea turtles face is humans. Luckily for them some humans are workingto protect them. Sea turtles are also dealing with the loss of theirhomes.
Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water, but females comeashore to lay their eggs on beaches. Humans are making it harder for females tofind a safe place to lay their eggs. We are building more homes and buildingson the beaches and just having a big, noisy crowd around is disturbing what wasonce a peaceful and safe environment for the sea turtles. The human activitiesalso interfere with their food supply. Chemicals from close by farms and constructionsites can get into the run-off and poison their food supply (“Sea Turtle,”n.
d.). Without a safe place to eat and nest females won’t be able to lay theireggs and the population will suffer. Plastic pollution is another threat sea turtles encounter.
To a sea turtle a plastic bag and a jellyfish look very similar. It is verycommon for marine animals to eat plastic that has been washed into the ocean.Plastic pollution takes the lives of more than 100 million marine animalsannually. Any form of plastic whether it’s a plastic bag, water bottle, orballoon can fatally harm sea turtles even if just a small quantity is ingested.Sea turtles are at a higher risk of choking because of the way their body isbuilt. “They have downward facing spines in their throats which prevents thepossibility of regurgitation.
The plastic gets trapped in their stomachs, whichprevents them from properly swallowing food” (“Information About Sea Turtles:Threats from Marine Debris,” n.d., para.
2). Sea turtles can choke or starvedue to ingesting plastic. There are millions of tons of plastic in the oceansand most of it comes from land. “Eight percent of plastic debris comes fromland” (“Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris,” n.d., para.1). Humans are careless with their trash and the sea turtles are paying theprice for it.
Another huge threat sea turtles face is poaching. It isillegal to poach and trade sea turtles but keep tracking of these illegalactivities is very difficult, so people continue to get away with it. They arehunted for their eggs, meat, shells, and skin.
In certain countries people eatthe eggs and meat while in other countries they sell the eggs to make money.They are also used to make everyday objects. “Their shells and skins are alsoused to make a variety of objects like jewelry, sunglasses, tourist trinkets,instruments, and wall hangings” (“Illegal Poaching,” n.d., para. 2). Poachingwill always be a problem for sea turtles if poachers are able to keep making aprofit and people keep illegally buying turtles products.
One of the biggest threats sea turtles face is fishingrelated accidents. They have been known to get caught in fishermen’s nets. Theycan be seriously hurt or even killed by these nets that are meant to be used tocatch fish. Although they can hold their breath for long periods of time seaturtles still need air to breathe.
Getting caught in a net can prevent themfrom being able to swim back to the surface and eventually they drown. They canalso be drawn in or caught by fishermen’s hooks. “They can also sustaininternal injuries from hooks or external injures from entanglement, includingstrangulation or amputation” (“Information About Sea Turtles: Threats fromCommercial Trawl Fishing,” n.d., para. 2). Fishing related accidents areresponsible for over 250,000 sea turtle deaths and injuries annually.
Sea Turtles face many threats and as a result six of theseven species of sea turtles are either vulnerable or endangered. TheLeatherbacks and Olive Ridleys are classified as vulnerable and the Loggerheadsand Green sea turtles are considered endangered. The Hawksbill and Kemp’sRidley species are classified as critically endangered which means theirpopulation is extremely close to going extinct. The only one not on any list isthe Flatback species and that is due to the fact there isn’t enough data todetermine how large their population is.
One natural threat they face is predatorsbut for the most part their biggest threats are human related. Some of thebiggest threats sea turtles face are fishing accidents, poaching, plastic pollution,and loss of habitat which are all human-related issues (“Sea Turtle Threats,”n.d.).SeaTurtle Threats Sea turtles are also important because they can bring inlarge revenues for countries. Sea turtles are worth much more alive than deadbecause they make an interesting tourist attraction. “Marine turtle tourismbrings in almost three times as much money as the sale of turtle products suchas meat, leather and eggs according to a new economic study by WWF” (Troëng & Drews, 2009, para. 1).
The study done by WWFfound that countries that sold sea turtles products brought in an average of$582,000 whereas countries that used sea turtles as a tourist attractionbrought in an average of $1.65 million (Troëng & Drews, 2009, paragraph 2).Although using sea turtles as a tourist attraction may not be the most positiveidea at least it’s another reason for people to want to protect theseendangered species. Sea turtles are a vital part of the marine ecosystem. Theenvironment would suffer without them and sadly they face many threats that aretaking a toll on their population.
Sea turtles’ diets also play an important role in the marineecosystem. Some species of sea turtles such as the Leatherbacks are carnivoresand eat other animals like jellyfish. Large numbers of jellyfish can beproblematic for humans; “…that are increasingly wreaking havoc on fisheries,recreation, and other marine activities throughout the oceans” (“Are SeaTurtles Worth Saving?,” n.
d., paragraph 5). Sea turtles help control thejellyfish population.
The Hawksbill species are omnivores and one importantanimal they eat are sponges. Sponges are a threat to corals, “Hawksbill turtleseat sponges, preventing them from out-competing slow-growing corals” (“Are SeaTurtles Worth Saving?,” n.d., paragraph 6).
Sea turtles help control the spongepopulation with the added benefit of allowing corals to grow. Green sea turtlesare herbivores that eat plants like seaweed and algae. By feeding on theseplants they help maintain healthy seagrass beds. Each species of sea turtles hasa different diet and each one helps sustain a healthy ecosystem.
“If seaturtles go extinct, it will cause declines in all the species whose survivaldepends on healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs” (“Are Sea Turtles WorthSaving?,” n.d., paragraph 6).
Sea turtles play an important role in the marine ecosystemand if they were to go extinct it would negatively impact the environment. Afemale sea turtle comes ashore every couple of years to lay her eggs. Thoseeggs are important for the health of beaches and dunes.
The eggs are a sourceof nutrients for these ecosystems and help with the growth of dune plants. Bothhatched and unhatched eggs benefit the dunes. “All the unhatched nests, eggsand trapped hatchlings are very good sources of nutrients for the dunevegetation.
Even the left-over egg shells from hatched eggs provide nutrients”(“Are Sea Turtles Worth Saving?,” n.d., paragraph 3). Dune plants need thenutrients from the eggs to grow stronger.
Dune plants are important becausethey help prevent erosion. If they are no sea turtles, then there won’t be anyeggs and no eggs mean unhealthy dune plants which would be harmful to theenvironment. “If sea turtles went extinct, dune vegetation would lose a majorsource of nutrients and would not be healthy or strong enough to maintaindunes, allowing beaches to wash away” (“Are Sea Turtles Worth Saving?,” n.d.,paragraph 4). WhySea Turtles Are Important The seven species of sea turtles are unique and can’t bereplaced. Every species of sea turtle is either endangered or vulnerable.
Theyplay an important role in the ecosystem and there will be consequences if betteraction isn’t taken to protect these animals. Sea turtles face many threatsincluding humans. It’s up to humans to do what they can to protect these animals,so their population can grow, and sea turtles can continue to do their part inthe environment.
In addition to different habitats sea turtles also havedifferent diets. Sea turtles don’t have teeth but have strong jaws that form abeak. Each species’ beak is different depending on their diet. Sea turtles canbe herbivores, carnivores, or both.
Green sea turtles are an example of anherbivore species with a diet of plants like algae and seaweed. Kemp’s ridleysare carnivores that eat other marine animals such as crabs and shrimp. Oliveridley will eat both plants and animals such as fish and algae (“Sea TurtleDiet,” n.d.). Sea turtles can be found in all types of water worldwide.
While they prefer to live in shallow waters some sea turtles live in the ocean.Different species make different areas of the world their home, and somespecies have a wider range than others. For example, Loggerheads can be foundin coastal bays and streams worldwide whereas Flatbacks live on the coasts ofAustralia. Leatherbacks can be found in most oceans all over the world whereasKemp’s ridleys only live in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the United States(“Sea Turtle Habitat,” 2014). Marine turtles also known as sea turtles have been onEarth for millions of years. Some of the oldest sea turtle fossils discoveredare approximately 150 million years old. They belong to the Reptilia classwhich means they are vertebrate creatures.
There are seven different species ofsea turtles: Flatback, Green, Hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, Leatherback,Loggerhead, and Olive ridley. The Leatherhead is the only species to have aleathery skin top instead of a shell. The other six species have a shell madeup of hard scales. The scales are used to help identify the species of seaturtle. Each species varies in the number, color, and arrangement of the scales(“Information About Sea Turtles: An Introduction,” n.d.).Introduction Protectingthe Sea TurtlesRachelMathewsFrederickCommunity CollegeIntroductionto OceanographyProfessorEsslingerDecember4, 2017