After 225 million years on Earth, sea turtles are now threatened with extinction. Pollution, fishing and the targeted hunting of animals dramatically reduce the population. The last hope of the sea turtles are animal rights activists and volunteers. If you are one of those taking care of sea turtles, you know the importance of saving them. So keep your turtle aquarium clean. It’s then important to buy new filter for turtle tank.
What’s So Special About Sea Turtles?
Six out of seven remaining turtle species live in Central America: green turtle, real and fake hawksbill turtle, olive and Atlantic bastard turtle and leatherback turtle. The habitat of the turtles is mainly concentrated in tropical and subtropical waters that remain constantly above 20 ° C.
Sea turtles are generally herbivores, but can also eat smaller fish, crabs, mussels or jellyfish. It is difficult to distinguish between males and females. Males have a slightly longer tail, a narrower shell and claws on the fins to be able to hold on to the female when mating.
The breeding season differs depending on the species and area. For example, the green turtle breeds in the Atlantic from July to October, the leatherback turtle from October to March. A female lays up to 100 eggs in each nest, which are dug into the sand. There they “breed” for about two months until the little turtles hatch.
The temperature on the beach decides whether the eggs tend to become males or females. High temperatures favor males, low females. Female turtles always come back to their place of birth to lay their eggs.
Sea turtles don’t have gills, they have lungs. With one breath, you can stay underwater for up to five hours. Sea turtles cannot retract their fins (unlike tortoises that can retract their legs).
They also have a magnetic map in their heads. With the help of the magnetic field, you can determine their position on the world map.
Sea turtles sleep in the water, just below the surface, so they can breathe comfortably.
Sea Turtles Are Threatened!
Sea turtles are primarily threatened by humans. Both regional and national factors are causing a shrinking sea turtle population.
Especially in the regions of Central America, turtle meat and turtle eggs are considered delicacies and remedies. A sea turtle egg in Costa Rica, for example, brings the black market trader around one US dollar. For a nest of 100 eggs, that’s one-sixth of the average monthly income for a Costa Rican citizen.
But the meat and jewelry made from turtle parts are also very popular in the regions of Asia. For example, medicinal preparations, cosmetic oils, and handbags are made from turtle leather.
Nationally, increasing pollution poses a particular threat. Thousands of sea turtles end up as bycatch in crab and fishing nets and suffocate there in agony. The turtles also often confuse white plastic bags with jellyfish and suffocate, or starve because their stomach is clogged.
Volunteering with turtles
Volunteering with turtles is an ideal way to combine your beach vacation with physical work to create an unforgettable experience. All seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction and conservation projects around the world play an important role in preserving these fascinating animals.
Help volunteer with sea turtle trained biologists and go on beach patrols or rescue nesting turtles and hatching babies. Releasing older babies back into the sea is a unique experience! From Costa Rica to Greece to Australia: Save turtles in a volunteer project!