Sea turtles have graced the oceans for millions of years, evolving resilience to countless challenges. But the dawn of the Anthropocene has brought newer, deadlier threats: millions of tons of plastic, destruction of nesting beaches, light pollution that disorients hatchlings away from the ocean, fishing nets that trap and drown turtles, and boat-propellers that sever their flippers and crack their carapaces. Current estimates suggest that only one in 1,000 to 10,000 hatchlings survive to reach breeding age.National Day Calendar has more.
By improving our solid waste management systems, making our fisheries wildlife-friendly, protecting nesting beaches, and reducing our dependence on plastics, we can give these graceful animals a fighting chance at survival, and improve the health of the oceans.
We are all responsible, and our choices can make a big difference.
What choice will you make to help sea turtles?
Every year on June 16th, World Sea Turtle Day highlights the importance of sea turtles. The day also encourages global supporters to dive into the threats that sea turtles face.The University of Florida paid tribute to Dr. Carr in World Sea Turtle Day.
Did you know that sea turtles have been on the earth for over 100 million years? This means that sea turtles co-existed with dinosaurs. There are seven species of sea turtles. These include green, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, and the Olive ridley. Of these species of sea turtles, the leatherback is the largest. The leatherback sea turtle weighs anywhere from 550 to 2,000 pounds! This type of sea turtle grows up to six feet in length. Sea turtles live in both cool and warm waters throughout the world. However, the flatback can only be found in Australia.
Sea Turtle Facts
Unfortunately, nearly every species of sea turtle is considered endangered. The hawksbills and Kemp’s ridley are both critically endangered. Entanglement in marine debris, destruction of habitats, and poaching for meat and eggs are among the top reasons for their endangerment.
- Sea turtles can live between 50 to 100 years.
- Some sea turtles travel more than 1,000 miles to return to their nesting ground.
- Sea turtles nest multiple times, about two weeks apart, and lay up to 125 eggs per nest.
- Most sea turtles nest at night, except for the Kemp’s ridley.
- Leatherback sea turtles can dive nearly 4,000 feet into the water.
- Unlike other kinds of turtles, sea turtles cannot retreat into their shell.
- A large group of nesting sea turtles is called an “arribadas”, which is Spanish for “arrival.”
- One more interesting fact is that the temperature of the nest determines the sea turtle’s sex. Male hatchlings are born in cooler temperatures. When temperatures in the next are warm it produces female hatchlings. Fluctuating temperatures produce a mix of male and female baby sea turtles.
In the year 2000, turtle conservation organizations came together to create World Sea Turtle Day. June 16th was chosen to honor the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr, a renowned sea turtle conservationist. Dr. Carr also founded the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Gainesville, Florida.
The University of Florida’s world-renowned sea turtle expert Archie Carr paved the way for sea turtle conservation. For over 30 years, his students have carried on his legacy at the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research on the UF campus. Now, as sea turtles face modern threats like climate change, a new generation of students are fighting for solutions.I feel smarter having watched both videos and read National Day Calendar's page. I hope my readers do, too.
Speaking of my readers, I would like to know what they want me to blog about tomorrow. I am very tempted to continue this streak of writing about holidays through World Giraffe Day and National Seashell Day on the Summer Solstice. Tomorrow's choices are World Croc Day, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, and Global Garbage Man Day, all of which have environmental themes, or something environmental not associated with any of tomorrow's special days, like climate change and biodiversity. What do you think?