Month: October 2020

Sea Turtle Populations

Keep it in mind that the total population of sea turtles is unknown. All the numbers given are approximated and present some ambiguity because of the turtle movements. The fact that male turtles and juvenile sea turtles do not come to shore makes it impossible to determine the actual number.

Additionally, there are different trends in how the female species nest. Some will nest more than once on the same beach in a given season, and others will visit several beaches during the nesting season. When these factors are paired with the varying nesting frequency, counting becomes very difficult.

Before we continue, let me thanks to the guys a Painters Sunshine Coast for their limitless help and their unconditional support of the sea turtle preservation.

Sea turtles are among the endangered marine life, and in the past two centuries, they have suffered human activities. They are tasty snacks for humans, and every part is equally useful to man; therefore, scaling up poaching and over-exploitation. These mariners also suffer from bycatch (Accidental capture) and habitat destruction.

Marine surveys recently estimate the total sea turtles to be around 6.5 million. Every species carries a different number, which depends on how it is endangered. Here are different species approximates based on some criteria.

  • Kemp’s Ridley: This is the most endangered sea turtle. In 1942, the nesting ridleys were about 42,000, and the number dropped drastically to 1,429 in 1995 nesting season. Strict protection measures were put in place, and they have been fruitful. The current estimated population of Kemp’s Ridley is 9000 adult females.
  • Green turtles: Researches show that green sea turtles dropped by approximately 60% in the past 120 years. The largest nesting hotspot is Tortuguero, Costa Rica, and it receives around 22,500 green turtles every nesting season. Raine Island coastal reef has the second largest population of around 18,000 nesting females annually. The green sea turtles population ranges from 85,000 to 90,000 adult females.
  • Hawksbill turtles: Being solitary nester and the fact that their track doesn’t last in the sand makes it difficult to estimate the population. Stable populations are found in Australia’s Great Barrie Reef, Oman, and the Red Sea. Hawksbill’s current population is estimated at 57,000 adult females nesting in different regions.
  • Loggerhead turtles: Nesting populations of loggerheads have been declining over the past years. The largest nesting areas are Oman and Masirah Island receiving 30,000 and 20,000 nesting females per season, respectively. Although the total population is unknown, the US loggerhead estimates are at 90,000 nesting females.
  • Leatherback turtle: The population of this sea champion has been declining dramatically along the pacific coasts. However, the Florida coastal regions have been recording incredible leatherback nesting recently. The estimate of nesting females ranges from 34,000 to 36,000 in every season.
  • Flatback sea turtles: Approximately 25,000 to 30,000 come ashore of Australian waters to lay eggs. It represents the most vulnerable species of sea turtles due to its limited distribution.
  • Olive Ridley: This is the most abundant sea turtle species. Even though nesting Olive Ridley has declined along coastal regions adjacent to the northwestern Atlantic, they strike higher numbers. On average, there are about 2 million nesting females that visit the coastal lines.

The listing of sea turtles under the Endangered Species Act has resulted in significant fruits. Make sure to embrace the conservation of these charismatic reptiles.

Sea Turtles Nesting

The reproduction maturity of sea turtles varies from each species. Differences in egg-laying periods are due to the life span of each turtle species. The species with a short lifespan, their maturity peak at an early age. Long lifespan turtles, their maturity peak in late ages. 

For example, the North American wool type of turtle reaches their fertility age at ten years, while the loggerhead turtles’ fertility ranges from twenty years to thirty years. Mud turtles with a short lifespan have their reproduction peaks at the age of six years.

Egg-laying period of sea turtles

The time of nesting during the year also varies; some turtles may lay eggs every year of their life. It may also take two years of sea turtles to nest again, while others may take years to years to lay eggs.

Sea turtles have a great process of hatching for their younger ones. During the summer season, that is, warm weather, male sea turtles, move near nests areas along the seashores. It is where they wait for the female turtles for mating. Male turtles can live in the mating areas in the sea until mid-season of coupling and then leave to feed in the sea.

After mating, female sea turtles move to the original beaches where they hatched. Through swimming, they crash the long surf where they crawl over the sea beach to locate nesting areas above the high sea watermarks. 

How female sea turtles nest

The female sea turtles use their back flippers to dig holes in the sand, which are the nest. The whole process of digging holes or nest in the sand and laying eggs takes the female sea turtle up to three hours. The mother turtle can lay up to more than 100 eggs. After putting the eggs, the mother drags back to the water for feeding.

Incubation of the laid eggs usually takes sixty days in the warm sand before they hatch. The temperature range of the sand determines the gender of the baby turtle hatch. The warm temperatures are responsible for the hatching of baby female sea turtles. 

When the eggs are under cold temperature conditions, they hatch male sea turtles. Changes in climates may affect the population level of both male and female sea turtles. After the hatching, the young turtles are in a group. They create a union of the scene and use the sand nest with reminiscent of the turtle boils to move.

The tiny turtles use the downward sloping of the sea beaches to move to the seawater. In most cases, these younger turtles use the reflection from moon rays and stars to seawater at night to move to the sea. The tinny turtles make their movement at night for their safety. 

Sea Birds, wild dogs, foxes, and raccoons are predators to the young turtles. Tiny turtles that make it survive to move over the sand beach of the sea swim along offshore. They float in the sargassum waters, find food hide as they continue to grow.

What time of the day do turtles mostly lay eggs?

Female turtles during their reproduction, in most cases, dig a nest and lay their eggs during the night. Many turtle species make the use of the calm darkness to hide from their predators. During the day, rays from the sun may heat the sand where turtle crawl over it. The heat becomes an obstacle for not able to move and lay their eggs.

During day time, most show shores are busy from being visited by people and animals. Therefore, turtles most time of the day they keep hiding in the sea and avoid disturbances from other animals of the land.

The egg-laying periods of sea turtles vary due to their nature of species. In a full circle of reproduction of sea turtles can produce a large population if all fertilities of the turtle considers. Though there are factors that may affect the procreation of sea turtles, their production continues to be high.