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Endangered turtles

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Hurricane Irma destroyed a staggering amount of turtle eggs and in doing so pushed these wonderful creatures ever closer to extinction.

Florida, which took the brunt of the storm, is a centre for sea turtles, including the endangered leatherback, loggerheads and green turtles. (The northwest Atlantic region is one of the loggerhead’s nesting areas and 89 percent of these turtles are hatched in Florida.)

Sea turtles take twenty-five to thirty years to reach reproductive age and, when ready, lay their eggs in the open beach under vegetation or at the base of the dune; the hurricane eroded key nesting areas, washing away the nests or flooding them with seawater or rainwater. But there are other perils too.

Around 5,000 sea turtles are living in captivity in the Cayman Islands, squashed together, diseased or bred for meat and tourist entertainment. Tourists visit the Cayman Turtle Centre for the opportunity to take a ‘sea turtle selfie’ – blissfully unaware of the abuse and suffering involved.

Crushed together in shallow tanks, the natural solitary sea turtles are so stressed that they can turn against each other, biting and maiming. Surely the Centre must provide a proper sea turtle rehabilitation and release facility, to protect the turtles in care?

The turtles are also threatened by overharvesting of their eggs, hunting of adults, being caught in fishing gear and loss of nesting beach sites.

Many scientists are doing their best to highlight the sorry plight of these wonderful animals but more, much more, needs to be done.

 

Aimee, Year 6

Burgh School

9 Responses to Endangered turtles

  1. Sophie November 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Brilliant article Aimee! It is so sad how hurricane Irma was destroying the nests which now means they are even closer to extinction.

  2. Erin November 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    That’s so sad they’re endangered, I wish I could help. Is there anything I can do?

  3. Kavya November 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Wow Aimee i didnt know they were endangered!

  4. Faye November 16, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Great article Aimee, people should know what is happening to these beautiful creatures.

  5. Eryn November 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Great article, I found this really interesting!

  6. Aimee November 17, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you Eryn!

  7. Aston November 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    That is a brilliant article 👍👍👏👏

  8. Emily November 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    That is so sad, because they are living creatures. love the article though, keep up the good work!

  9. Erin and Katie November 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    We love this article Aimee, we wished we could have helped the turtles. We can’t wait until your next article.