World Sea Turtle Day: Protecting These Incredible Living Beings

Sea Turtles

By Kelvin Saint García

World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated every June 16 to raise awareness about the alarming situation these reptiles face, as they are in grave danger of extinction. Among the threats they encounter are poaching, egg consumption, and the loss of their natural habitats. 

Here are some actions we can take to protect them:

  1. If you find a sea turtle on the beach, admire it from a safe distance. Do not touch or disturb it, as you could interrupt its nesting process!
  2. If you see a turtle nest in the sand, do not step on it. You can also use sand to erase the trail left by the turtle. This will prevent poachers from locating the nest, which contain eggs that are vital for the species’ survival.
  3. Avoid leaving trash on the beach, as pollution affects turtles and other marine animals. Do not leave any waste on the beach and pick up any litter you find.
  4. Reduce plastic use: Turtles can ingest plastics floating in the sea, mistaking them for jellyfish. Use less plastic and say no to straws!
  5. Support conservation organizations and projects! WILDCOAST works hard to protect sea turtles on the coasts of Oaxaca and we’re so proud of our work. 

Every small action counts. By caring for our sea turtles, we’re preserving an invaluable part of our marine ecosystem. Let’s celebrate their beauty and fight for their survival!

Interesting Facts About Sea Turtles

  1. There are only seven species of sea turtles (leatherback, green, loggerhead, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, and flatback) in all the world’s oceans. WILDCOAST helps protect the main nesting beaches of sea turtles on the coasts of Oaxaca, where four of the seven species (leatherback, green, olive ridley, and hawksbill) nest.
  2. Male sea turtles never leave the sea, and females tend to return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs in the sand, using the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves!
  3. Only one out of every 1,000 hatchlings reaches adulthood. Predators like crabs, raccoons, and birds feed on the hatchlings during their short but difficult journey from the nest to the sea, and once in the sea, they have to contend with fish and other marine life.
  4. The sex of sea turtles is determined by the temperature of the nest in which they were hatched. Cooler incubation temperatures (< 30°C) produce male hatchlings, while warmer incubation temperatures (> 32°C) produce female hatchlings. This is why climate change will affect populations, resulting in too many females and very few males to mate. If the temperatures fluctuate between the two extremes, the hatchlings will be a proportional mix of males and females.

Thank you got joining us today—and every day—in celebrating these natural wonders!