1000 Flowers for the Planet - #365 Save the Sea Turtles
Six of the seven species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered. These threats come in a variety of forms. They are harvested for consumption, reducing numbers dramatically. Turtles can ingest marine debris which then causes starvation and death. They are caught in fishing nets and trawling nets, causing injury and sometimes death. They are hunted and killed for their shell, which is illegal, but the price for shell is attractive to poachers. Nesting sites have been reduced as humans encroach upon coastal areas and build great urban environments. More and more beaches are used by humans for entertainment activities, preventing turtles from returning to sites they once used for nesting. Oil spills affect turtles when it gets in their eyes and skin, and because it gets into their lungs when they come to the surface for air. It pollutes their habitat and breeding areas, affects their health and hence their lifespan.
All of these threats come from humans, and the sad truth is that the loss of turtles species would affect the food chain and hence the human race. Turtles are a part of the ecosystem. They graze on sea grasses, which are vital for the survival of other marine species, including many that we eat. If turtles disappear and the sea grasses then diminish, more and more species will disappear, our food sources will diminish and that will lead to even bigger problems for the planet. Look after every species. Care about turtles: the green turtle, loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, ridleys and flatback. Check out www.conserveturtles.org for lots of information and play your part.