SEP 21, 2017 12:48 PM PDT

Are Sea Turtle Conservation Efforts Working?

Six of the seven known sea turtle species reside on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List, ranging in severity from vulnerable, to endangered, to critically-endangered. Fortunately, the circumstances might be looking up for them.

Six of the seven known sea turtle species are on the IUCN's Red List. Conservation efforts are critical to protect them from extinction.

Image Credit: Pixabay

For far too long, sea turtles were captured as bycatch or yanked out of the sea by those who saw dollar signs rather than valuable life. But humans alone aren’t responsible for their low population counts; we can also attribute some of the blame to hungry predators, which often feast on sea turtles’ eggs on beaches before they hatch.

While the story of how sea turtle numbers have declined is a sad one, a study conducted by Deakin University researchers in collaboration with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece illuminates how years of continued sea turtle conservation efforts might be working. Their findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

Related: This sea turtle got a 3D-printed jaw replacement

To reach their conclusions, the team investigated hundreds of nesting site surveys conducted from all around the world. Through studying this data, they were able to obtain a deeper understanding of how turtle populations have fluctuated over the years.

Interestingly, they found more patterns agreeing with population increases than patterns coinciding with population decreases. In other words, sea turtles appear to be making a comeback on a global scale.

At least 95 of the examinations showed increases in population, while just 35 were on the decline. The rest were either remaining stagnant or didn’t have enough data to register an absolute conclusion.

"This study demonstrates the long-term benefits of sea turtle conservation efforts globally, and the need for continued funding to maintain recovery," explained Dr. Gail Schofield, a fellow from Deakin University and co-author of the study.

"Positive trends in abundance are likely linked to the effective protection of eggs and nesting females, as well as reduced harvesting and bycatch in fishing."

Related: Sea turtle has nearly 1,000 coins surgically-removed from its stomach

As it would seem, laws prohibiting acts that would endanger sea turtles are helping various species bounce back from declines. On the other hand, we’re not out of the woods just yet.

The study also brings up a good point in that many of the surveys were too short and didn't cover a long enough time span to reach reliable conclusions. Continued monitoring of sea turtle species is crucial for continued conservation efforts so that researchers can always work with the latest and most accurate figures.

If conservation efforts continue down the path they've been going, then perhaps the plethora of sea turtle species on the IUCN’s Red List today will one day be removed.

Cross your fingers!

Source: New York Times,

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 20, 2019
Watch This Dive Team Collect a Blood Sample From a Captive Whale Shark
Getting a blood sample from a massive whale shark can be particularly challenging and would typically require administering an anesthetic to put the animal...
SEP 20, 2019
Health & Medicine
SEP 20, 2019
Cannabis Leaves Possess Antibacterial Effects Against MRSA
A team of researchers from Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology and the University of Gour Banga in India used ethanol-based tinctures containin...
SEP 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 20, 2019
Dozens of Beached Pilot Whales in Iceland Prompt Major Rescue Effort
Animal conservationists still haven’t pinned the cause on mass whale beachings; nevertheless, they transpire all around the globe at an alarming rate...
SEP 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 20, 2019
Watch a Baby Kangaroo Take its First Hops
When Kangaroos are first born, the bones and muscles in their legs aren’t strong enough for them to stand on their own. This is why baby kangaroos re...
SEP 20, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
SEP 20, 2019
Epigenetics Used to Determine the Age of Dolphins
Until recently, testing the age of dolphin involved extract a tooth, sawing it in half, and then counting the layers within like rings in a tree. An expens...
SEP 20, 2019
SEP 20, 2019
Rats play hide-and-seek, and jump for joy when they win
Play is not just for humans - many animals including dolphins, cats, dogs, otters, and ravens engage in playful behavior. Studying the neuroscience behind play, however, is challenging; it mu...
Loading Comments...