by Kody Harris
All six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as endangered or threatened, but the exact population sizes of these species are unknown due to a lack of key information regarding birth and survival rates. The U.S. Endangered Species Act prohibits the hunting of sea turtles and reduces incidental losses from activities such as shrimp trawling and development on beaches used for nesting. However, current monitoring does not provide enough information on sea turtle populations to evaluate the effectiveness of these protective measures.
There are quite a few sea turtles in captivity around the world. Some of them are there due to being injured so they couldn't reasonably survive in the wild. Others are there for observation as well as to help them increase the numbers for their species. Sea turtles seem to do extremely well in captivity and they don’t seem to have too much stress involved with adjusting to the new environment.
Sea turtles live in almost every ocean basin throughout the world, nesting on tropical and subtropical beaches. They migrate long distances to feed, often crossing entire oceans. Some loggerheads nest in Japan and migrate to Baja California, Mexico to forage before returning home again (read about Adelita, the first turtle tracked across the Pacific). Leatherbacks are capable of withstanding the coldest water temperatures (often below 40˚F) and are found as far south as Chile and as far north as Alaska.