Threats to sea turtles

Last updated
Loggerhead sea turtle escapes from fishing net through a turtle excluder device (TED) Logger ted 01.jpg
Loggerhead sea turtle escapes from fishing net through a turtle excluder device (TED)

Threats to sea turtles are numerous and have caused many sea turtle species to be endangered. Of the seven extant species of sea turtles, six in the family Cheloniidae and one in the family Dermochelyidae, all are listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. The list classifies six species of sea turtle as "threatened", two of them as "critically endangered", one as "endangered" and three as "vulnerable". The flatback sea turtle is classified as "data deficient" which means that there is insufficient information available for a proper assessment of conservation status. [1] Although sea turtles usually lay around one hundred eggs at a time, on average only one of the eggs from the nest will survive to adulthood. [2] While many of the things that endanger these hatchlings are natural, such as predators including sharks, raccoons, foxes, and seagulls, [3] many new threats to the sea turtle species are anthropogenic. [4]


Artificial lighting

Artificial lighting is a threat to adult and hatchling sea turtles. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon as a guide to the ocean. This was created by celestial lights reflecting off the ocean’s surface. With human development along the coast, artificial light sources are growing in abundance. Unfortunately, these human-made lights are brighter than celestial lights, causing sea turtles to move toward them. A sea turtle not going in the direction of the ocean is referred to as a disorientation event. Disorientations lead to an increased risk of predation, exhaustion, dehydration, and/or injury. These events are often fatal. Disorientations can be caused by any light source that is directly or indirectly seen from the beach. Also, heavily lit beaches may cause an adult to have a false crawl. This is when the female decides the beach is not suitable for her nest and goes back to the water. False crawls cause exhaustion for the adult and may lead to her releasing her eggs in the ocean. This would be fatal to all the eggs.

As awareness of the negative impact artificial lighting has on sea turtles has grown, there have been several large-scale conservation efforts by Marine Life programs and conservation groups to educate the public on turtle conservation. Communities situated on or near a beach have been warned of the effects excessive lighting has on sea turtles and there have been substantial attempts to darken beaches and replace harmful artificial lighting with turtle-safe lights. Coastal communities have also been creating and updating their lighting ordinances with the common goal to help save sea turtles. Lighting ordinances allow local governments to enforce safer lighting for sea turtles.

Magnetic interference

Ferrous metal wire mesh screens are commonly used to protect sea turtle nests from predators' excavating and devouring the eggs and hatchlings. A new concern is that nestlings' delicate magnetic sense may not develop normally in the presence of the magnetic field interference from these steel mesh cages. The effects of the use of steel mesh as a cage material may not be known for many years until assessments can be made of the success rate of the first adult populations that developed within such cages begin attempting landfall for nest-making. Gravid turtles or their hatchlings may also be affected by the presence of magnetic fields arising from power cables, iron debris, steel seawalls or other human activities that locally modify Earth's magnetic field. [5]

Oil spills and marine pollution

An oiled Kemp's ridley sea turtle Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation.jpg
An oiled Kemp's ridley sea turtle

Marine pollution is both directly harmful to sea turtles as well as indirectly, through the deterioration of their natural habitats. Some of the most dangerous ocean pollutants include toxic metals, PCBs, fertilizers, untreated waste, chemicals, and a variety of petroleum products. Oil spills are particularly dangerous to sea turtles. [6] Although oil does not tend to stick to them as it does to other marine life, sea turtles are still at risk when they surface for air, where oil can get in their eyes, skin, and lungs, which can lead to significant health problems. Even if they are not directly in contact with marine pollution, sea turtles can still ingest harmful chemicals through the food they eat. Oil is also a cause for the death of seagrass, which is a staple in the diet of the green turtle. The diets of the hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, and Kemp's ridley sea turtle species have also been affected by the oil's role in the reduction of certain sponges and invertebrates. Extended exposure has been found to deteriorate the health of a sea turtle in general, making it more weak and vulnerable to a variety of other threats. [7]

According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Program, the migration habits of sea turtles increase their exposure to marine pollution at each of the stages of their lives including eggs, hatchlings, juveniles, sub adults, or nesting adults. In a 1994 study off of Florida's Atlantic coast, 63% of hatchlings surveyed were found to have ingested tar. Loggerheads in particular have been shown to have the most problems with tarball ingestion, leading to esophageal swelling that can dislocate the intestines and liver leading to serious buoyancy issues as well as excessive swelling. [6] Many regions heavily associated with oil, either exploration, transportation, or processing, are also significant sea turtle environments, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and particularly the coasts of Texas and Florida. [7] Sea turtles existing in the exact areas where oil spills occur are not the only ones at risk due to the strong and far reaching ocean currents which can move pollution to great distances from its derivation. [8]

Breeding season is in particular a dangerous time for sea turtles due to the pollution of beach nesting sites. [9] Contamination of their diet can lead to disruption of digestion as well as physical injury to the sea turtles' digestive tracts. The nesting of female sea turtles is often deterred due to the potential of oily effluence. [6] If the female does lay eggs, the development of the eggs is at risk due to either oil in the sand or contamination from the mother turtle that was oiled while nesting. If the eggs in the nest have contact with oil while in the last half of their incubation phase, the rate of hatchling survival sharply decreases and those that do survive have a greater chance of physical deformities. [10]

Ocean plastic

Eight million tons of plastic make their way to the ocean every year. [11] For many marine species, including sea turtles, plastics in our oceans can lead to threats of entanglement, habitat degradation, and ingestion. [12] Discarded plastic bags floating in the ocean resemble jellyfish, a common food of sea turtles. If a turtle eats a plastic bag, it tends to clog the turtle's digestive system and result in the animal dying. There have been many cases of dissection showing plastic and other debris inside turtles' stomachs and intestines. [13] Marine debris has caused mortality in all species of sea turtles. [14] There have also been cases where sea turtles have been found with plastic straws in their noses, plastic bags or toothbrushes in their stomachs, or fish hooks stuck on their flippers. [15] Plastic straws can be dangerous to sea turtles, too, because they are often mistaken for food. [16] This can cause the sea turtle to choke or die of starvation because they feel full and do not eat, when they are actually full of plastic. [16] Despite being small, plastic straws are among the top items that pollute the ocean. [17] As previously mentioned, ingestion is also more likely to occur if the plastic resembles their typical food. Studies have found that turtles had a 50% chance of dying if they ingested more than fourteen pieces of plastic [18]


Owing to the popularity of numerous sea turtle species, people often travel to areas where the turtles nest, live to observe and photograph them. [19] This has resulted in numerous deaths of the turtles through boat collisions, tourists attempting to catch or steal individuals, and other incidents. In Costa Rica, tourists have recently been criticised for interfering with the nesting habits of the resident olive ridley sea turtles, disrupting and confusing the animals by attempting to take selfies with them. [20]


Image of a manatee with boat strike injuries. Similar injuries occur on turtle with parallel cuts (as shown in the image) or by blunt force trauma. Manatee bearing scars on back from boat propeller.jpg
Image of a manatee with boat strike injuries. Similar injuries occur on turtle with parallel cuts (as shown in the image) or by blunt force trauma.

There are numerous threats to sea turtles associated with boats, including oil spills, habitat degradation, and vessel collisions. [21] Boat strike injuries result in two types of injuries: blunt force trauma and propeller slices in the carapace. [22] Blunt force trauma is from the hull of the boat hitting the turtle and results in a cracking, less obvious, injury on the turtle's carapace. Propeller strikes form clear cut, parallel lines on the carapace of the turtle. The propeller wounds can cut into the spinal cord or lungs if deep enough, as these are located dorsally on the animal attached to the underside of the carapace. [23] Sea turtle stranding data is the primary method of quantifying boat strike injuries, which has increased by 20% in Florida between 1985 and 2005. [24] In general, sea turtles are not able to avoid boat collisions when boats are travelling too quickly. [25] Also, the faster a boat is travelling the more damage is done to the turtle, making incidents more lethal. [26] When sea turtles surface to breathe they continue swimming in the water column just below the surface; this allows them to get a few breaths in at a time, and then dive into deeper water to hunt or forage. This depth is the ideal depth for the propeller of the boat to hit the turtle, it also makes it even more difficult for boaters to try to avoid the turtles, since they cannot be seen.

There are ways to mitigate the problem. Speed reduction zones have been beneficial for species such as the Florida manatee. [27] These zones would be especially important implemented in shallow, coastal regions near popular nesting beaches during nesting season. Vessel modification are another way that boaters can reduce their influence on marine life. Jet board motors have an impeller that eliminates the threat of propeller damage to marine turtles. The motor rests only a few inches from the hull of the boat, meaning it is less likely to hit turtles that are not surfacing to breathe. Propeller guards are slightly helpful at idle speeds, but once a boat begins to reach higher planning speeds they are ineffective in protecting the turtle from the propeller. [26]

Sea turtles that strand alive with boat injuries can be treated at rehabilitation facilities. Treatment is not always successful, but there are turtles that do survive boat strike injuries. [28]


According to a study published in Conservation Letters , over 8 million sea turtles died between 1990 and 2010 due to injuries caused by being accidentally caught by fishing boats. [29] Fisheries often use large-scale nets and hook systems that are indiscriminate and catch whatever comes along, be it sea turtle, dolphin, or even shark. What is known as "bycatch" is a large contributor to sea turtle deaths, as seen in Baja California. [29] Longline, trawl, [30] and gillnet fishing are three types of fishing with the most sea turtle accidents. Deaths occur often because of drowning, where the sea turtle was ensnared and could not come up for air. [31] Another dangerous aspect of fishing that is common is when sea turtles inadvertently swallow sharp hooks, which can get stuck within the soft tissue of the throat and stomach, or damage vital organs and intestines. [32]


Captured sea turtle waiting to be slaughtered for meat at the Jamestown Fishing Harbor, Accra, Ghana Animal Cruelty Sea Turtle.jpg
Captured sea turtle waiting to be slaughtered for meat at the Jamestown Fishing Harbor, Accra, Ghana

In many countries sea turtles are captured, killed, and traded for their meat, shells and leather flippers. Eggs are also at risk of poaching for consumption, and are considered a delicacy in certain cultures. Other cultures believe sea turtle eggs to be aphrodisiacs, while others claim that eating them yields longevity. [33] In some islands, parts of the sea turtle are used in ceremonies and are considered sacred. Other times, the carcasses harvested are made into jewelry, instruments, souvenirs, sunglasses, or wall decorations, especially hawksbill sea turtles, which are desired for the striking details of the shell. [34]

Global warming

Placard "I speak for the sea turtles", at the People's Climate March (2017) Climate March 0841 (34210334302).jpg
Placard "I speak for the sea turtles", at the People's Climate March (2017)

Global warming is estimated to have serious effects on wildlife over the next few decades. There is evidence that sea turtles have already been affected. With the increase of temperature, polar ice has melted and has led to the rise of sea levels. This rise in sea levels has been a factor in the loss of beach, which for sea turtles means less nesting area. Global warming has been associated with severe weather, which could mean harsh and numerous storms that erode beaches and flood nests. [35] As the overall temperature of the earth rises, so does the temperature of the sand, which diminishes the rate of hatchling survival. The temperature of the sand also affects gender, as higher temperatures have been shown to yield more female hatchlings. Changes in climate also influence currents and change the number and location of prey species. Water that is too warm can also cause coral bleaching, which is detrimental to reefs that are essential to certain species, such as the hawksbill sea turtle. [36]


A sea turtle with fibropapillomatosis Turtlewithfptumors0149026.jpg
A sea turtle with fibropapillomatosis

A disease known as fibropapillomatosis manifests itself in turtles through external tumors. These tumors often grow to be so large that they hinder a sea turtle's ability to see, eat, and swim, therefore rendering the sea turtle unable to survive. Inexplicably, the majority of the cases of fibropapillomatosis have been diagnosed in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) while none have been in the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Cases of this disease have been found in all major oceans. Although the causes of this disease are not clear, many believe the source to be viral. These tumors are either smooth or contain pointed projections and they are red, pink, grey, black, or purple in color. These tumors are usually located anywhere on the soft skin tissue of the sea turtle, either the neck, eyes, or bottom of the flippers and range in size anywhere from a pea to a grapefruit. [37]

Conservation efforts and rehabilitation centers

A study by Discovery News targets the Mediterranean, the Eastern Pacific, the Southwest Atlantic, and the Northwest Atlantic as the regions in the direst need of preservation endeavors. In 1963, the Marine Turtle Group was created by the chairman of the Survival Service Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as the first international forum for sea turtle research and conservation. [38] In the United States in 1973, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed, providing protection for all sea turtle species, and in 1977, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to enforce the ESA with regards to sea turtles. USFWS is responsible for all sea turtle conservation on nesting beaches and NOAA Fisheries are responsible for the marine conservation of sea turtles. The conservation of sea turtles on an international scale has been led by two major environmental agreements: the Indian Ocean – South-East Asian Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles. [39] In an attempt to lessen the number of turtles killed by fishing incidents, several new types of turtle-safe fishing equipment have been introduced such as the circle hooks, [40] fish bait, and turtle excluder devices. [41] Poaching has been outlawed in most countries and turtle conservation education has been growing in both in size and efficiency.

Rehabilitation centers have been established as well, such as the Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, Florida, [42] and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center located on Topsail Island, North Carolina. [43] The purpose of these centers is to help protect the local and endangered sea turtle population by: a) rescuing sick or injured turtles and taking them to the treatment facility, b) rehabilitating these turtles through various types of treatment and/or surgery, and c) releasing turtles back into the ocean once they have been successfully nursed back to health. Although some sea turtles' injuries are so severe that they can never become healed to the extent of being able to survive on their own outside of the facilities, hundreds of the patients from both the Gordon and Patricia Gray Veterinary Hospital in Juno Beach and the Sea Turtle Hospital in Topsail Island have been successfully rehabilitated and released in the last couple of decades.

Evaluating the progress of conservation programs is difficult, because many sea turtle populations have not been assessed adequately. [44] Most information on sea turtle populations comes from counting nests on beaches, but this does not provide an accurate picture of the whole sea turtle population. [45] A 2010 United States National Research Council report concluded that more detailed information on sea turtles' life cycles, such as birth rates and mortality, is needed. [46]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sea turtle</span> Reptiles of the superfamily Chelonioidea

Sea turtles, sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira. The seven existing species of sea turtles are the flatback, green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and olive ridley. Six of the seven sea turtle species, all but the flatback, are present in U.S. waters, and are listed as endangered and/or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. All but the flatback turtle are listed as threatened with extinction globally on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The flatback turtle is found only in the waters of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cheloniidae</span> Family of turtles

Cheloniidae is a family of typically large marine turtles that are characterised by their common traits such as, having a flat streamlined wide and rounded shell and almost paddle-like flippers for their forelimbs. They are the only sea turtles to have stronger front limbs than back limbs. The six species that make up this family are: the green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, olive ridley sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, flatback sea turtle and the Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leatherback sea turtle</span> Species of marine reptile in the family Chelonidae

The leatherback sea turtle, sometimes called the lute turtle, leathery turtle or simply the luth, is the largest of all living turtles and the heaviest non-crocodilian reptile, reaching lengths of up to 1.8 metres and weights of 500 kilograms (1,100 lb). It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermochelyidae. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell; instead, its carapace is covered by oily flesh and flexible, leather-like skin, for which it is named.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olive ridley sea turtle</span> One of the most abundant living sea turtle in the world

The olive ridley sea turtle, also known commonly as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a species of turtle in the family Cheloniidae. The species is the second-smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world. L. olivacea is found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but also in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hatchery</span>

A hatchery is a facility where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions, especially those of fish, poultry or even turtles. It may be used for ex-situ conservation purposes, i.e. to breed rare or endangered species under controlled conditions; alternatively, it may be for economic reasons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hatchling</span>

In oviparous biology, a hatchling is a newly hatched fish, amphibian, reptile, or bird. A group of mammals called monotremes lay eggs, and their young are hatchlings as well.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diamondback terrapin</span> Species of reptile

The diamondback terrapin or simply terrapin is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal tidal marshes of the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico coast, as well as in Bermuda. It belongs to the monotypic genus Malaclemys. It has one of the largest ranges of all turtles in North America, stretching as far south as the Florida Keys and as far north as Cape Cod.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Loggerhead sea turtle</span> Species of marine reptile distributed throughout the world

The loggerhead sea turtle is a species of oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm (35 in) in carapace length when fully grown. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (298 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). The skin ranges from yellow to brown in color, and the shell is typically reddish brown. No external differences in sex are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons than the females.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kemp's ridley sea turtle</span> Species of sea turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtle, also called the Atlantic ridley sea turtle, is the rarest species of sea turtle and is the world's most endangered species of sea turtle. It is one of two living species in the genus Lepidochelys. The species primarily occupies habitat around the Gulf of Mexico though their migrations into the Atlantic are being affected by rising temperatures. Kemp's ridley sea turtles are currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and current conservation efforts attempt to rebuild population numbers. Human activity, including but not limited to habitat destruction, climate change, and oil spills, threaten populations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Green sea turtle</span> Species of large sea reptile

The green sea turtle, also known as the green turtle, black (sea) turtle or Pacific green turtle, is a species of large sea turtle of the family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in the genus Chelonia. Its range extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but it is also found in the Indian Ocean. The common name refers to the usually green fat found beneath its carapace, not to the color of its carapace, which is olive to black.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flatback sea turtle</span> Species of turtle

The Australian flatback sea turtle is a species of sea turtle in the family Cheloniidae. The species is endemic to the sandy beaches and shallow coastal waters of the Australian continental shelf. This turtle gets its common name from the fact that its shell has a flattened or lower dome than the other sea turtles. It can be olive green to grey with a cream underside. It averages from 76 to 96 cm in carapace length and can weigh from 70 to 90 kg. The hatchlings, when emerging from nests, are larger than other sea turtle hatchlings when they hatch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mon Repos Conservation Park</span>

Mon Repos Conservation Park is a national park containing an important turtle rookery located at Mon Repos, Bundaberg Region, Queensland, Australia, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of Bundaberg. Mon Repos hosts the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and supports the most significant nesting population of the endangered loggerhead turtle in the South Pacific Ocean. Successful breeding here is critical if the loggerhead species is to survive. In far smaller numbers the flatback and green turtles and, intermittently, the leatherback turtle also nest along the Bundaberg coast.

Gahirmatha Beach is a beach in Kendrapara district of the Indian state of Odisha. The beach separates the Bhitarkanika Mangroves from the Bay of Bengal and is the world's most important nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles. The beach is part of Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, which also includes the adjacent portion of the Bay of Bengal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hawksbill sea turtle</span> Species of reptile

The hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in the genus Eretmochelys. The species has a global distribution that is largely limited to tropical and subtropical marine and estuary ecosystems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sea turtle migration</span> Seasonal movement of sea turtles

Sea turtle going to sunbathe is the long-distance movements of sea turtles notably the long-distance movement of adults to their breeding beaches, but also the offshore migration of hatchings. Sea turtle hatchings emerge from underground nests and crawl across the beach towards the sea. They then maintain an offshore heading until they reach the open sea. The feeding and nesting sites of adult sea turtles are often distantly separated meaning some must migrate hundreds or even thousands of kilometres.

Kosgoda is a small town in the Galle District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It is situated on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 50 km (31 mi) north of Galle and 76 km (47 mi) south of Colombo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golden ghost crab</span> Species of crustacean

Ocypode convexa, commonly known as the golden ghost crab, or alternatively the western ghost crab or yellow ghost crab, is a species of ghost crabs endemic to the coast of Western Australia, from Broome to Perth. They are relatively large ghost crabs, with a carapace growing up to 45 mm (1.8 in) long and 52 mm (2.0 in) wide. They are easily recognisable by their golden yellow colouration. Like other ghost crabs they have box-like bodies with unequally sized claws. They also have large eyestalks with the cornea occupying most of the bottom part.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program</span> Environmental organization

The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) is an environmental organisation based at the Gnaraloo pastoral station and run by the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation. The aim of the GTCP is to identify, monitor and protect the nesting beaches of loggerhead sea turtles found at two locations on the Gnaraloo coastline. These two rookeries contribute to the South-East Indian Ocean subpopulation of loggerhead turtles, with other major nesting sites for this sub-population at Dirk Hartog island and Exmouth. This is within the southern boundaries of the Ningaloo Coast marine area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Bald Head Island Conservancy (BHIC) is a non-profit organization founded November 7, 1983. BHIC's mission is barrier island conservation, preservation and education. It is located in the Smith Island Complex in Brunswick County, North Carolina, which includes Bald Head Island, Middle and Bluff Islands, all of which are bounded by the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. BHIC sponsors and facilitates scientific research that benefits coastal communities and provides numerous recreational and educational activities for students, educators, visitors, and residents. In coordination with various organizations, partnerships and collaborations, the Conservancy has led the nation in conservation and research efforts and is uniquely poised to become a leader in Barrier Island Conservation world-wide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program</span>

The Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program (GFACP) operates in conjunction with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP), a non-governmental organization whose aim is to monitor and protect sea turtle nesting beaches along the coast of Gnaraloo. Since its implementation in 2009, the GFACP has worked to reduce the impact of feral predators on sea turtle nests within these rookeries. Gnaraloo is located at the southern end of the Ningaloo Coast, a World Heritage Site. The Ningaloo Reef and surrounding coastline are home to important wildlife, including vulnerable and endangered sea turtle populations.


  1. IUCN 2018. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 3.1. <>. 11 August 2018
  2. Wright, Sara. "Hilton Head Island sees record sea turtle nesting season." Bluffton Today (2010): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec 2010. <>.
  3. Bolton, Naomi. "What Animals Eat Turtles?". Sciencing. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  4. Heithaus, Michael, Aaron Wirsing, Jordan Thomson, and Derek Burkholder. "A review of lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on adult marine turtles." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 356.1-2 (2008): 43-51. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  5. Lohmann, Catherine, and Kenneth Lohmann. "Sea turtles ." Current Biology 16.18 (2006): R784-R786. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  6. 1 2 3 "Sea Turtle Threats: Oil Spills." Sea Turtle Conservancy (2010): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec 2010. < Archived 2010-11-21 at the Wayback Machine >.
  7. 1 2 Milton, Sarah, and Peter Lutz. United States. Oil and Sea Turtles Biology, Planning, and Response. 2010. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
  8. Witherington, B.E. "Ecology of neonate loggerhead turtles inhabiting lines of downwelling near a Gulf Stream front." Sea Turtle Conservancy (2002): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
  9. Antworth, Rebecca, David Pike, and John Stiner. "Nesting ecology, current status, and conservation of sea turtles on an uninhabited beach in Florida, USA." Biological Conservation 130.1 (2006): 10-15. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  10. United States. Impacts of Oil on Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles, 2010. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
  11. "Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic". National Geographic News. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  12. Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bolten, Alan B.; Lagueux, Cynthia J. (1994-03-01). "Ingestion of marine debris by juvenile sea turtles in coastal Florida habitats". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 28 (3): 154–158. Bibcode:1994MarPB..28..154B. doi:10.1016/0025-326X(94)90391-3. ISSN   0025-326X.
  13. Pictures of plastic items eaten by turtles
  14. Franzen-Klein, Dana; Burkhalter, Brooke; Sommer, Rachel; Weber, Marika; Zirkelbach, Bette; Norton, Terry (2020-06-11). "Diagnosis and Management of Marine Debris Ingestion and Entanglement by Using Advanced Imaging and Endoscopy in Sea Turtles". Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery. 30 (2): 74. doi:10.5818/17-09-126. ISSN   1529-9651. S2CID   225754213.
  15. "How Did Sea Turtle Get a Straw Up Its Nose?". Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  16. 1 2 "How Plastic Straws Affect the Ocean and Sea Turtles". Green Matters. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  17. "Why This Matters". For A Strawless Ocean. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  18. Wilcox, Chris; Puckridge, Melody; Schuyler, Qamar A.; Townsend, Kathy; Hardesty, Britta Denise (2018). "A Quantitative Analysis Linking Sea Turtle Mortality and Plastic Debris Ingestion". Scientific Reports. 8 (1): 12536. Bibcode:2018NatSR...812536W. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30038-z . PMC   6137038 . PMID   30213956. S2CID   52273648.
  19. Gunawardana, Maleesha. "Sea turtle conservation: Is it up to the hatcheries? | Daily FT". Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  20. "Selfie-taking tourists threaten sea turtle population in Costa Rica - CBC News". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  21. Lutcavage, ME (2003). Biology of Sea Turtles. CRC Press. pp. 388–404.
  22. Heinrich, George (2012). "Boat strikes: A threat to the Suwannee Cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis)". Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 7: 349–357.
  23. Wyneken, J (2001). The Anatomy of Sea Turtle. U.S. Departments of Commerce NOAA Technnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-470.
  24. Singel, K (2007). "Navigating Florida's waterways: boat related strandings of marine turtles in Florida". Proceeding of the 27th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.
  25. Hazel, Julia (2007). "Vessel speed increases collision risk for the green turtle Chelonia mydas". Endangered Species Research. 3: 105–113. doi: 10.3354/esr003105 .
  26. 1 2 Work, Paul A.; Sapp, Adam L.; Scott, David W.; Dodd, Mark G. (2010). "Influence of small vessel operation and propulsion system on loggerhead sea turtle injuries". Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 393 (1–2): 168–175. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2010.07.019. ISSN   0022-0981.
  27. Laist, David W.; Shaw, Cameron (2006). "Preliminary Evidence That Boat Speed Restrictions Reduce Deaths of Florida Manatees". Marine Mammal Science. 22 (2): 472–479. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2006.00027.x. ISSN   0824-0469.
  28. Brulliard, Karin. "For injured turtles, a return to the sea".
  29. 1 2 Stokstad, Erik. "Sea Turtles Suffer Collateral Damage From Fishing." Science AAAS 07 Apr 2010: n. pag. Web. 8 Dec 2010. "Sea Turtles Suffer Collateral Damage from Fishing - ScienceNOW". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  30. Sasso, Christopher, and Sheryan Epperly. "Seasonal sea turtle mortality risk from forced submergence in bottom trawls." Fisheries Research 81.1 (2006): 86-88. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  31. Haas, Heather, Erin LaCasella, Robin LeRoux, Henry Miliken, and Brett Hayward. "Characteristics of sea turtles incidentally captured in the U.S. Atlantic sea scallop dredge fishery." Fisheries Research 93.3 (2008): 289-295. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  32. Viegas, Jennifer. "Millions of Sea Turtles Captured, Killed by Fisheries." Discovery News (2010): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
  33. Butler, Rhett. "Sex sells sea turtle conservation in Mexico." Environmental News August 19, 2005: n. pag. Web. 9 Dec 2010. <>.
  34. Le Guern Lytle, Claire. "Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate ." Coastal Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec 2010. <>.
  35. "Global Warming." SEE Turtles. N.p., 2007. Web. 9 Dec 2010. < Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine >.
  36. Markey, Sean. "Global Warming Has Devastating Effect on Coral Reefs, Study Shows." National Geographic News 28 Oct 2010: n. pag. Web. 9 Dec 2010. <>.
  37. Florida. Fibropapillomatosis and its effect on green turtles, 2010. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
  38. Davis, Frederick. "Saving sea turtles: the evolution of the IUCN Marine Turtle Group." Endeavour 29.3 (2005): 114-118. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  39. "Marine Turtles." Office of Protected Resources. NOAA Fisheries, 11 Nov 2010. Web. 8 Dec 2010. <>.
  40. Read, Andrew. "Do circle hooks reduce the mortality of sea turtles in pelagic longlines? A review of recent experiments." Biological Conservation 135.2 (2007): 155-169. Web. 15 Dec 2010.
  41. "Bycatch - So what's the answer?." WWF Global. N.p., 2009. Web. 9 Dec 2010. <
  42. "Our Mission." Loggerhead Marinelife Center. N.p., 2010. Web. 9 Dec 2010. <>.
  43. "The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center Mission Statement." Topsail Turtle Project. N.p., 2011. Web. 4 Oct 2011. < Archived 2011-10-20 at the Wayback Machine >.
  44. Bjorndal, Karen; Bowen, Brian; Chaloupka, M.; Crowder, L. B.; Heppell, S. S.; Jones, C. M.; Lutcavage, M. E.; Policansky, D.; et al. (2011). "Better Science Needed for Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico". Science. 331 (6017): 537–538. Bibcode:2011Sci...331..537B. doi:10.1126/science.1199935. PMID   21292956. S2CID   33994573.
  45. Witherington, B.E.; Kubilis, Anne; Brost, Beth; Meylan, Anne (2009). "Decreasing annual nest counts in a globally important loggerhead sea turtle population". Ecological Applications. 19 (1): 30–54. doi:10.1890/08-0434.1. PMID   19323172.
  46. The National Research Council (2010). "Assessment of Sea Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance". Washington, DC: National Academies Press.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)