The Endangered Green Sea Turtle

Chelonia mydas

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Some Facts:

Type: Reptile


Diet: Herbivore


Status: Endangered (Red List)


Average life span in the wild: Over 80 years


Size: Up to 5 ft (1.5 m)


Weight: Up to 700 lbs (317.5 kg)


Did you know? Like other sea turtles, the green turtle cannot pull its head into its shell

Endangered Green Sea Turtle

Habitat- Ocean Biome

The Green Sea Turtle is located in tropical, subtropical and coastal waters, as far North as Canada, and as South as Australia. They usually stay near the coastline, around islands and live in bays and protected shores, especially in areas with seagrass beds.

Ecosystem

There are two main critical habitats for the endangered Green Sea Turtle: where the live and where they lay their eggs, both of which are being destroyed and effecting their population.


Nesting Beaches:

There are many resorts and tourist beaches where the female Green Sea Turtle's go to lay their eggs every year; however, if they lay them in these developed and human impacted areas the chances of the babies making it to to the ocean are very unlikely. It is also a large inconvenience to close off public beaches such as these every so often for the eggs to hatch and the babies to make their trek into the ocean, therefore, many conservationist don't have the authority to close off the beaches for these turtles.


Coral Reefs:

Once the turtles make it to the ocean, coral reefs near the shore are where the Green Sea Turtles will live most of their lives. Unfortunately, for the lucky few who make it to the ocean, their coral reef habitat is being threatened and compromised as well due to chemical pollution from industrial and agricultural sources, sometimes causing the reef to be inhabitable. These pollutants also effect the turtles diet which is mostly seagrass. The agricultural pollutants can cause the seagrass to over flourish, while the industrial pollutants can kill off their source of food. Both types of pollutants negatively effect the species and the ecosystems and food chains they're a part of.

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Why is This Species Endangered?

There are many threats to the Green Sea Turtle which are cause their population decrease. Some of these include:

-loss of nesting habitat due to human development

-loss of coral reef

-loss of ocean habitat due to chemical pollution

-harvesting of the species for trade of shells, meat, and leather

-poaching turtle eggs

-getting caught in fishing lines (bycatch)

-a mysterious, incurable and fatal disease called fibropapilloma, whose cause in unknown, and which is at epidemic levels in parts of Hawaii and Florida

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What Can We Do?

There are many large and small things that we can do to help conserve the Green Sea Turtle. Here are some examples:

-reduce the amount of chemicals you use on a daily basis (on cars, in shower products, cleaning supplies) because it all flows into the ocean

-leave egg nesting sites alone and do not disturb the turtles natural journey into the ocean

-help restore the coral reef

-donate to organizations contributing to the preservation of the Green Sea Turtle

-not supporting the trade of Green Sea Turtle shells, leather, or meat

-and much more that you can read in detail about below:

Green Sea Turtles in Oahu, Hawaii

Speculation on The Green Sea Turtle to Continue Being Classified as Endangered: