The 23rd of May is World Turtle Day, so for the rest of this month, we’re going to take a closer look at these amazing creatures, and their fight against extinction.
We are incredibly lucky that of the 7 species of turtle that grace our oceans, 5 are found along our coastline. While these highly migratory species periodically come ashore to either bask or nest, sea turtles spend the bulk of their lives in the ocean.
Each sea turtle we encounter today is a miracle as it is estimated that only one or two hatchlings in a thousand will make it to adulthood.
Over the last 200 years, human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture—known as by-catch—in fishing gear. Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites; it alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings. Nearly all species of sea turtle are now classified as endangered, with three of the seven existing species being critically endangered.
Which turtles have you seen? Post your photos and videos in the comments below.