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Transcript of Turtles
Green sea turtles breed in estuaries but are found in many coastal waters around the world
They are mainly in the subtropic and tropical areas
These turtles were reintroduced into Bermuda Migration They migrate along the coasts from feeding grounds to breeding grounds
Nest in 80+ countries
Believed to inhabit 140+ countries' coastal waters including Australia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guam, Myanmar, Iran, Kenya, Yemen, ect.
So protecting is hard because Green Turtles are widespread Populations Recording of populations is made hard by the fact only mature females come to shore to breed, juveniles and males stay out in the ocean. Males never return to land. Females return to lay a clutch of eggs every two or three years Green Turtle populations have declined 48 to 67 percent (IUCN 2004) in past 120-140 yrs. However, all rates are not consistant in all places. Turtle populations continue to decrease despite efforts to help them
Since 1982 the Green Sea Turtle was
listed as an endangered species Why are Populations so Low? Threats to a Green Sea Turtle's Environment Threats towards Eggs
and Hachlings Eggs may be harvested from nests, as several countries have not outlawed this practice
Many Green Sea Turtle nesting sites have been destroyed because of buildings close to these beaches, or beach armoring and renourishment, as well as sand extraction. Baby turtles may be eaten up by sea birds, ghost crabs, rats, pigs, and other predators in the mad dash toward the ocean Juveniles Baby hatchlings go towards the light when hatching, which should be the moon. However, when buildings near beaches are put in place, the turtles tend to go towards modern lights instead of using the moon over the ocean to guide them. This ends up making them fall into pools, get run over, and end up not in the ocean. Baby turtles may be harvested while they are dashing towards the ocean
They also may be taken by natural predators Because a turtle prefers to eat jellyfish when the turtle is about 4 years old, they mistake plastic bags for jellies.
This is particuraly detrimental, since plastic bags contain chemicals, Polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, which impair the turtles' eating habits.
If not by blockage, then by the unnatural chemicals may cause buoyancy, lethargy, and nutritional deficiencies. Adults There is often a lot of coastal development, wich means that turtles may run into humans via marina constuction and boat traffic. Harvesting near shores of marine algae resources depleats an adult Green Turtles' food source Natural predators such as Tiger Sharks may come after Green Turtles Humans also capture turtles for their meat and shells. Native peoples may use them traditionally for cultural reasons, but many turtles are poached each year, sometimes being sold as souvenirs. Disease There has been an outbreak of Fibropapilloma Disease, which is basically a tumor inside or outside the body. It may impair vision, feeding, and breathing and eventually can cause death in a turtle.
Fibropapilloma has increased with habitat degradation. Fishing Industries Drift netting, shrimp trawling, gill nets, dynamite fishing, and long lining all play a part in inhibiting sea turtle movement, and may end up drowning a turtle.
If the turtle is not killed by fishing, then it usually ends up being stressed which makes the turtle more prone to disease.
In the case of long lining, turtles may end up with hooks imbedded in their digestive tract. Even if the turtle is released alive, the hook may not come out. Help for Sea Turtles Global Organizations World Conservation Union (IUCN)- labels Green Sea Turtles as Endangered
SPAW Protocol to the Cartagena Convention - Annex II concerns protected areas and wildlife
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speices of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) - Appendix I lists the Green Sea Turtle
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) - Listed under appendices I and II
Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles
Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of
Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA)
Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Sea Turtle Conservation and Protection
Memorandum of Agreement on the Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area (TIHPA)
Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa.
TEDS Turtle exclusion devices are used in order to stop turtles from trawling fisheries. The turtle's shell bumps against the TED, and then the turtle is guided out of the net. United States Efforts Efforts have been made to protect beaches if there are turtle nesting sites nearby. For example, people are told to keep the lights off or put super dark shades over their windows so that the turtles are guided by natural moonlight and are not confused by artifical light. This leads them in the right direction towards the ocean.
Both Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have been reasearching fibropapilloma to find the cause of this disease.
The United States also requires the use of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) on all shrimp fisheries using trawls.
Shrimperies drowned about 10,000+ Green Sea Turtles each year In a survey in Kaneohe Bay off the Oahu, Hawaii in 1991 indicated 50% of the Green Sea Turtles had Fibropapilloma In a Survey off the island of Molokai, Hawaii in 1991 36% of Green Sea Turtles had Fibropapilloma In Hawaii, less than 200,000 nesting females remain In Hawaii, about 100 to 350 females nest each year Pollution Turtles are harmed by
pollution as well. Plastics can be particularly detrimental if ingested. In blood samples in Green Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico April 2, 2010, indicated Sigma PBDEs were detected in all samples, (geometric mean, range: 146 pg g(-1), 19.5-1450 pg g(-1) blood). Sigma DDTs and Sigma chlordanes were also found. For example,
scientists say artificial lights along Sarasota County's coastline are disorienting hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings.
Researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory said nearly 2,000 hatchlings have gotten lost on their way to the sea.
Under CITES you cannot bring sea turtle products into the United States,
Violators fined up to $20000 and up to 1 year in prison.
In the Endangered Species Act (appendix 2) harassing a Sea Turtle comes with a
fine as high as $100,000 and possibly prison
Hope for Sea Turtles? Recently, more and more sea turtles have been coming back to nesting spots. This may be because of efforts to protect them. the rate for annual growth is increasing, all over the world Recent turtle populations seem to
be going up, but these do not include all nesting sites Gulf of Mexico
Oil Spill It seems that the recent oil spill
is affecting sea turtles. Green turtles reside in these waters. Over 200 turtles have been found dead, washed up. Shrimp fishermen are suspect to the sea turtle loss, because they may have removed the TEDs from their nets in order to catch more shrimp before the oil spill wiped out the shrimp population for the entire area. Boat damage Green Sea Turtle By Clare Adams Green Works Consulted. Chaloupka, Milani, et al. "Encouraging outlook for recovery of a once severely exploited marine megaherbivore." Global Ecology & Biogeography 17.2 (2008): 297-304. Environment Complete. EBSCO. Web. 9 May 2010.
Chaloupka, M., T. Work, G. Balazs, S. Murakawa, and R. Morris. "Cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in green sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago (1982-2003). " Marine Biology 154.5 (2008): 887-898. Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 8 May. 2010.
"Environment and Research; Reports outline environment and research study findings from R.F. Swarthout and colleagues. " Ecology, Environment & Conservation 2 Apr. 2010: Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 8 May. 2010.
Green Sea Turtles. EarthTrust, n.d. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www.earthtrust.org/wlcurric/turtles.html>.
"Lights Disorienting Turtle Hatchlings. " The Ledger 4 Aug. 2009, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web. 8 May. 2010.
National Aquarium in Baltimore. "Green Sea Turtle." National Aquarium in Baltimore. N.p., 2008. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www.aqua.org/animals_greenseaturtle.html>.
Pacific Sea Turtle Recovery Team. Revocery Plan for the US Pacific Populations of the Green Turtle. US Department of Commerce, US Department of Interior,
12 Jan. 1998. Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/
"SEA TURTLES - Habitat and Distribution." Sea World. Sea World, n.d. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/sea-turtle/habitat-&-distribution.htm>.
Seminoff, J.A. 2004. Chelonia mydas. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 May 2010.
US Fish and Wildlife Service. "Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)." North Florida Field Office. N.p., 16 Jan. 2009. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/seaturtles/turtle%20factsheets/green-sea-turtle.htm>.
Green Turtles are located in the dark blue areas Why does this matter? Sea Turtles may be an indicator that the oceans are not so healthy. The fact that pollutants such as PVCs are found in their blood and stomachs show that plastic is very prevelant in our oceans.
Green sea turtles are particuraly a good indicator species because they live so long - taking about 40 years to mature.
Green sea turtles also travel all around the world, so if one area is in polluted or degraded, then the sea turtle will most likely suffer. Green Sea turtles may also be used for tourism purposes. Yay diving! Green Sea Turtles play a role in many cultures. Traditionally, native people from Guyana, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tahiti, Madagascar, and other places use sea turtles explotitation, but they also respect the turtle's lifecycle. Green Sea Turtles are one of the few creatures that eat sea grass. Sea grass must be pruned by these herbivores in order for a bed to be healthy, and these sea beds are used by many species of fish for nurseries. A decline in these beds would mean that fish would not have a place to breed, and thus there would be less fish in an already declining fishery.
In the United States, the FDEP has estimated that each acre of seagrass has an economic value of approximately $20,500 per year. For Florida alone that means about 55 billion dollars a year.
These beds also increase water quality and decrease sedimentation. Green Turtles and
Sea Grass Culture Some Species that
depend upon Sea Grass Sea Horses (Hippocampus spp.)
Pipefish (Syngnatus spp.)
Parrot fish (Sparisoma spp.)
Various eels (Gymnothorax spp.)
Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus)
Perch (Bairdiella chrysura)
Pig fish (Orthopristis chrysoptera)
Grunts -Blue-striped and French (Haemulon scirus) and (H. flavolineatum)
Tomtate (H. aurolineatum)
Grey Snapper (Lutjanus griseus)
Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
Grey Snapper (Lutjanus griseus)
Atlantic Herring (Opisthonema oglinum)
Atlantic Stingray (Dasyatis sabina) How to Help Don't throw plastics, especially plastic bags away where they may end up in the ocean. This includes letting balloons go.
Don't use any chemicals that may find their way into the ocean
Advocate for fisheries around the world to use TEDs
Be careful not to go near sea turtles when on a boat
Refuse to buy turtle products
Support Green Sea Turtle Organizations
Encourage the use of circle hooks and bait that does not attract turtles for long lining fisheries
Eating Sea Grass Turtles may also provide rides to remora. The remora recieves protection, transportation and places to feed. Pollution may come from
cannerys and human wastes.
In Pago Pago Harbor, there are concentartions of heavy metals, PCBs, Pesticides, and Petroleum Products that turtles may run into.