Sea turtles are majestic and beautiful creatures. You will likely have seen a nature documentary at one point in your life that showed how they nest on sandy beaches.
Well, this article is going to focus on that phenomenon and why it is important that there is conservation for these nests.
But, in order to understand why sea turtles’ nesting is important in the conservation world, we first need to understand why these animals are an essential part of the ecosystem.
So, before we talk about sea turtles nesting we are going to go over sea turtles and why they are important as a species.
Why Is It Important To Conserve Sea Turtles?
The first and most important reason that sea turtles need to be conserved is because they are living creatures that are only in trouble because humans have caused irreversible damage to the planet.
Now that we have that out of the way, there are five big reasons why sea turtles are so important to the environment:
The first reason that sea turtles are so important is because they help to keep the environment working as it should.
For example, leatherback sea turtles keep the number of jellyfish down so they do not overpopulate the water and cause an issue for other marine life.
The hawksbill sea turtle also helps its environment by eating the sponges on the reefs which keeps the populations down so they do not become too prolific and once again affect the life of the other marine animals.
Their Nests Help The Beaches
When the eggs hatch the shells and other substances are left behind.
These components and the hatchlings that are too weak to survive are super nutritious and are an important source of nutrition for some of the animals and the plants in the area.
They Are Food For Other Animals
As cruel as it may seem to you or I, the hatchlings of sea turtles are an important source of food for some birds, mammals, and fish.
More than enough sea turtles survive to continue their species while also playing their part in the food chain by becoming food for other animals.
There are many places that rely on the tourism that nesting turtles or adult turtles bring them.
People will pay a lot of money to see these majestic animals which means that there will be more money for nature conservationists to care for sea turtles and make sure that they are safe from hostile humans and the ever-changing environment.
Are Sea Turtles In Danger?
While sea turtles are not actually endangered they are in trouble. There are many things that humans have done to the environment that is affecting these wonderful animals. For example:
- Fishing Companies – All around the world sea turtles are being killed by gill nets, trawls, and longlines. They often get tangled up in the nets which can cause them to drown.
- They are a Delicacy – There are people around the world that eat sea turtles and their eggs or use part of their bodies for leather, decor, or oil.
- Coastal City Development – The sea turtle’s homes and nesting areas are being reduced as humans create more towns and cities along the coasts. This means that the sea itself is being changed as well as the nesting spots which are then affected by humans walking in that area and causing destruction to the nests.
- Pollution – We as humans have created a number of dangerous plastics that are finding their way into the ocean and killing sea turtles. These plastics and other types of pollution are being ingested or causing the turtles to drown by getting tangled in nets or plastic. On top of that, there is chemical pollution in the sea that is turning their home into an inhospitable wasteland.
- The Changing Climate – It is no secret by now that there is climate change occurring all around us. The weather is changing which is causing changes to the sea turtles’ homes and how they live. This may affect how many males or females are born which in turn can affect how likely it is that this species will be able to breed effectively.
Sea Turtle Nests Are Marked But Why?
Did you know that sea turtle nests are marked in some places? This is because for many reasons and all of them are geared toward protecting and conserving the sea turtle population.
By marking nests it is easy to get an idea of how many there are and where they are located so in the case of a storm they can be assessed for damage and by doing this you are also making it so that people cannot disturb the sites.
On top of that this marking of turtle nests is important so that when the eggs hatch the conservationists can make sure that the babies get to the sea alright.
In the wild, they would be alright but because of the light pollution, they can get confused and go the wrong way. In many instances, this is a death sentence.
Why Is It Important To Conserve Sea Turtle Nests
There are many reasons it is important to make sure that sea turtle nests are conserved. But the main reason is that the sea turtle population for many of the different species is under threat.
By taking care of the nesting spots you are allowing a new generation to have a chance at life and by extension help the species to continue.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and learning all about sea turtles and why nest conservation is so important.
As we have said, sea turtles are in trouble because of climate change and things that humans have done to their homes.
It is our duty to do our best to make sure that sea turtles as a species continue and with nesting conservation, it is made possible.