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.