Sea found throughout Europe and according to several Turkish

Sea turtles, also commonly referred to as marine turtles, are reptiles that belong to the order family: testudines. The word, testudines, derives from Ancient Rome and is considered to be a protective guard formed by a body of troops holding their shields above their heads in such a way that the shields overlap. In this case, however, testudines refers to the sea turtles’ body form and shape; the majority of a sea turtle’s body is protected by its shell. There are seven species of sea turtles roaming the earth today and have been extant for over 110 years. Over this extensive period of time their population dispersal, challenges, and conservation strategies have been produced respectively. 
The general distribution of sea turtles is dependent on the seven specific species: the green, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, hawksbill, flat-back, and the leatherback. Various species of sea turtles are found in warmer, more temperate seas. For example, the flat-back sea turtle is found in the west coasts of North and South America, from central Baja to Peru. Meanwhile, the loggerhead sea turtle is found worldwide. Its habitat tends to be coastal tropical and subtropical; this species prefers warm currents and coastal bays. Furthermore, the leatherback sea turtle is the most widely distributed of all sea turtles and is typically found in the Gulf of Alaska, south of the Bering Sea in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. This species is found further north than any other reptile, marine or terrestrial.
In the past, sea turtle nesting shores were typically found on sand-filled beaches in North Israel. As told by marine biologist, Abu Hanafi, there was no distinct relation to the size of the grains of sand ideal for nesting. Grain sizes would vary from 0.0065 mm on Acre beach up to 1.7 mm on Nahariya beach. Hanafi also states that the spring migration of the species took place towards the shores of Turkey, where he assumed nesting took place as well. Scattered nests were found throughout Europe and according to several Turkish fishermen, there were nesting beaches throughout the nation. In these places, according to the same sources, great quantities of turtles were captured, and there was also much nesting activity taking place. 
Historically, scientists would track free-ranging sea turtles by tagging their flippers. Once tagged, scientists would document where the turtles were spotted.  This method was quite effective in producing information on migration destinations, however, it did not divulge the turtle’s specific travel routes. Most recently, the tracking of turtles’ movements has been facilitated with the use of radio and satellite functionalities. In fact, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has developed a radio/satellite transmitter to better track the turtles’ whereabouts. The device is a harness specific for leatherback turtles and its savvy design allows for a secure attachment of a transmitter without affecting the turtles’ range of motion whatsoever. Throughout nature, sea turtles are faced with several day-to-day challenges to maintain their survival. Predators such as birds, raccoons, crabs, and even ants will attack eggs and newborns still in the nest. Once the eggs are hatched and new life is formed, the hatchlings make simple, bite-sized meals for their predators. However, those cases are really some of the rather few natural challenges that sea turtles face. Furthermore, the sea turtle is rather safe from natural opposition, except for the occasional shark attack. Natural threats are definitely not the primary reason for the rapid decline in the species’ population; to really understand the major threats to sea turtles’ existence, we need to analyze human behaviour. 
Globally, some cultures assign spiritual or mythological importance to sea turtles and worship them. However, this has not stopped the human race from consuming their meat and eggs. This takes place predominantly in Central America and Asia where sea turtles are considered a great food source. During the specific nesting season, hunters will roam the beaches at night looking for nesting females. To make the hunt more beneficial, the hunters will typically wait until the female has laid her eggs, to then attack her and her eggs. Some cultures consume sea turtle meat as a part of a traditional religious holiday. An example of this is in Mexico, where thousands of inland residents travel to Pacific coastal communities during the week prior to Easter in search of sea turtles and other sea food for the special occasion. In this annual hunt, typically around five thousand sea turtles are consumed in just this one specific region alone. 
One of the greatest challenges that sea turtles face is a result of an environmental issue presented by humans: pollution. It is estimated that over 100 million marine animals are killed annually due to plastic debris in the ocean, in which approximately 80% of it comes from land. As a result of people’s poor behaviour, thousands of sea turtles accidentally swallow these plastic items, mistaking them for food (See Figure 1). Specifically, the leatherback turtle’s main prey is jellyfish. When these turtles see plastic bags (for   example, grocery bags) floating in the ocean they live in, it is natural for them to believe the plastic bag may be their next “meal”; this uneducated decision could be fatal. 
Another natural challenge that sea turtles face on a daily basis is actually their own habitat. Within the past decade, there has been devastating tsunamis that took place in South East Asia. These tsunamis did not only affect sea turtles, but they destroyed the Andaman and Nicobar Environment Trust field station at Campbell Bay in Great Nicobar as well. This was a research station that conducted several studies to produce accurate, up-to-date information on the world’s sea turtles. In one destructive tsunami, there was only one man who survived the damage done to the research station; Santosh Augu was the survivor’s name. Augu was found after being reported missing for seventeen days. “I have not seen any of my colleagues since the tsunami. I think they are dead,” he says. Many privately owned turtle hatcheries were also destroyed by the “killer waves” that took place that year. There were hundreds of reptiles that were washed away and never seen again as their glass holding tanks were shattered and destroyed. In fact, one private operator in Sri Lanka lost about ten thousand turtle eggs and hundreds of hatchlings .
The threats facing sea turtle survival are endless and, for the most part, are results of human behaviour. Ultimately, it would be extremely difficult to alter human action. However, at least there is hope to eliminate threats; if sea turtles were going extinct due to geographical or climatic alterations, there would be almost nothing we could do to help the matter. To effectively protect sea turtles worldwide, many different countries and cultures would have to cooperate and share responsibility for the matter. However, sea turtles’ fate does not only lie in the hands of humans. Currently, marine biologists are involved in assisting the lives of sea turtles in ways such as moving nests or raising hatchlings in confinement. Therefore, if sea turtles cannot survive and/or reproduce on their own, without the help of humans, they are ultimately destined for extinction. It is unfortunate that humans are the number one cause in the sea turtle population decline, and that the main way to protect their species from extinction is not necessarily by doing something, but instead we need to stop doing some of the every-day things that we do. For example, promoting sanitary practices would help preserve the species. Also, being aware of sea turtle nesting areas and avoiding hatching turtles is another way we can preserve their population. Many people consider sea turtles to be cute, and therefore they are tempting to touch and pay attention to. However, what most are unaware of is that sea turtles fear people, especially during times where females are nesting, or trying to nest, on the beach. Finally, another way to preserve their valued lives is to make sure to not feed or attempt to feed sea turtles. Sea turtles, depending on the species, have a diet that may range from strictly meat, to strictly plants, to both. When humans attempt to feed sea turtles, the turtles develop a tendency to travel to land to find food (from people). Feeding sea turtles is harmful and is actually illegal in many countries.
Conclusively, sea turtles are harmless and friendly marine animals dispersed worldwide that are facing severe challenges developed by poor human behaviour. Ultimately, the conservation of sea turtles is simple, but it takes cooperation amongst the human population to decelerate the death rate. Bringing the sea turtle population back to an even level is definitely accomplishable and will maintain a positive long-term effect.


I'm Dianna!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out