Threats to Turtles

June 29, 2019

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An estimation of only 1,000 to 10,000 will survive until adulthood because of the threats that turtles face. A video of a turtle, in pain, because of a straw wedge inside his nose has caused an uproar within the internet, showing the reality of the threats that drive them to extinction. But a plastic straw is just one of the things that can kill and harm turtles.

There are many kinds of threats that turtles face every day and these are just a few:

  1. Natural threats: Their eggs can get eaten by crabs, raccoons, and ants when their nests get raided. Once they hatch from their egg, they become bite-sized food for birds, crabs, and other predators. Once they reach adulthood, however, they’re immune to natural threats except for the occasional shark attacks.

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  1. Human-caused threats: These include humans harvesting their eggs and killing the turtles for their meat. Often, people would wait for the female to lay its egg first before killing so they’ll be able to take the eggs and meat. There’s also the illegal sea turtle shell trade.

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  1. Commercial fishing: Each year hundreds of adult and juvenile turtle are caught in fisheries from mechanical operations to small-scale fisherman around the world. There’s an estimation of 150,000 turtles that get killed from shrimp trawls alone.

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  1. Marine debris: This is where the ingestion of plastic bag becomes the problem. Turtles think that the plastic bags are jellyfish and this causes them to eat it. Their flippers can also get entangled with plastic bags. Straws are also causing a problem for some turtles.

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  1. Competition with tourists: Turtles would have trouble laying their eggs because some beaches are occupied with tourist this resulted in their nesting places reduced greatly.

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  1. Marine pollution: Marine pollution can have serious impacts on both sea turtles and the food they eat. New research suggests that a disease now killing many sea turtles (fibropapillomas) may be linked to pollution in the oceans and in near-shore waters.

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  1. Oil spill: Oil spills, urban runoff from chemicals, fertilizers and petroleum all contribute to water pollution. Because the ocean is so large, many incorrectly assume that pollutants will be diluted and dispersed to safe levels, but in reality, the toxins released from these pollutants become more concentrated as they break down in size. As a result, these smaller, more toxic particles become food for many links in the food chain, including sea turtles.

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