Threats to Sea Turtles

Threats to life of sea turtles

There are many threats to sea turtles within the worlds waters, with thousands of hatchlings that successfully hatch and make it to the water, not all will live to adulthood. It is estimated that only 1 in 1000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Although their lives can be cut short due to natural causes, other impacts do cause the loss of numbers

  • Natural Threats

Like crabs, ants and lizards are natural predators when eggs are incubating .Hatchlings suffer the onslaught of birds making it to the water followed by the ocean food chain of fish, sharks and other prey.

  • Human Threats

Hunting and trade throughout the world is a very serious threat to sea turtles, they are taken for eggs and meat. With indigenous Australian culture, they are still hunting to this day but are restricting through education the quantity hunted and consumption.

In the Asian regions, exploitation of the shell and skin industry for the use in the illegal craft industries and souvenir industries will have an impact dramatic impact on numbers over time as well.

Rubbish and water pollution has a large impact on the turtles, with garbage carelessly being discarded and mistaken for things like jelly fish or sea grass. When consumed, this causes obstruction in the food passage and prevents them from digesting food and eventually starving to death. In general pollution is not good for any type of wildlife whether it be sea or land. Pollution has a detrimental effect on all wildlife.

Impact from commercial or recreational boats have a minimal impact due to turtles will diving down when approached by a moving vessel, unless they are suffering from floating syndrome and are unable to dive and impact is caused.

Fishing industry by the whole scope is a big issue with trawling nets or line nets. Not just turtles but a lot of untargeted sea life become entangled within their nets, with most drowning before release is available.

The development and access to shore lines also has a large impact on nesting, with 4wd access hindering turtles nesting paths along with parking on top of nest. Development within turtle nesting areas have a big impact with regards to lighting of buildings which disrupts turtle nesting, as they seek a dark and quite place to lay eggs .

How you can help

Refusing to buy sea turtle products, keeping the beaches clean by removing rubbish, restricting beach access at egg laying times, be cautious when out boating in areas of great numbers of turtles(reef areas) follow  DEPAW’s rules on turtle hatchlings and nests. Keep a look out sick or injured turtles and contact the local wildlife office or Chelonia direct.