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World Sea Turtle Day
16th June is the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr who is widely regarded as “the father of sea turtle biology.” Dr. Carr focused his entire career on sea turtle research and conservation.
Of the 7 sea turtle species, 6 are listed by the IUCN Red List as either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. They are: leatherbacks (vulnerable), loggerheads (vulnerable), hawksbills (critically endangered), green sea turtles (endangered), Kemp’s Ridley (critically endangered), Olive Ridley (vulnerable), and flatback sea turtles (data deficient).
In a recent study of over 100 sea turtles from around the world, every single turtle examined had microplastics in their digestive systems.
What can you do to protect sea turtles?
• At night, keep bright lights off the beach to encourage sea turtles to nest and to ensure hatchlings can find their way to the sea.
• Keep beaches, drains and rivers rubbish free to avoid turtles mistaking our rubbish for food or getting caught in plastic loops. Single use plastic bags are often mistaken by sea turtles for their favourite food, jellyfish and these bags can cause the turtles to die.
• Join a coastal conservation effort working to protect sea turtle nests from predators.