Threats to turtles

The biggest threat to the continuation of the turtles does not come from sharks or disease, it comes from humans. An article published last year said that 35 percent of the world’s green sea turtles are found in marine protected areas, where the only difference from anywhere else is that the area is more protected from humans. (comments about article available at http://www.macroevolution.net/marine-protected-areas.html#.UUtgt1dl5zs)

There are not many areas that are qualified as marine protected areas, so this amount of turtles in this small of an area is very telling of the impact that humans have on the turtles. Twice a month I see the impact humans have on turtles in person. I volunteer at Laniakea beach, otherwise known as Turtle beach, with a group called Mālama na Honu that protects the Hawaiian green sea turtles that frequent that beach for basking. Even with the people there to protect the turtles, mostly tourists and some locals try to touch, feed, or otherwise harass the turtles, despite the warnings and the fact that it is illegal. There needs to be more information available to the tourists coming onto the islands that tells them that they are not allowed to harass the turtles, and maybe then the turtles would start to be safer.

-Erin Day

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 10:43 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.