- Natural threats refer to natural sea turtle predators (raccoons, crabs, sharks, etc.), and other threats that occur naturally in the wild.
- A common human-caused threat is the consumption of sea turtles and their eggs. People also use parts of the sea turtle for products (oil, cartilage, shell, skin, jewelry, etc.).
- Annually, many sea turtles are accidentally caught in fisheries. Fishing methods that involve nets are notorious for accidental sea turtle capture.
- Consumption of plastic debris is a major concern regarding sea turtles. For leatherbacks, jellyfish are a main component in their diet. It can be difficult for turtles to distinguish between jellyfish and floating plastic bags.
- Artificial light can discourage female sea turtles from nesting and disorient sea turtle hatchlings.
- Beach erosion/nourishment and coastal armoring structures (sea walls, jetties, sandbags, etc.) interrupt the natural nesting process by altering habitats.
- Invasive species predation refers to non-native species that have become invasive predators for sea turtles. In Florida, cats and dogs are two of the common invasive predators for hatchlings.
- Oil spills and marine pollution have major impacts on sea turtles and their diet. When pollution enters the water, it kills plants and animals that are part of the turtles’ diet. Fibropapillomas, a disease that kills many sea turtles, may also be linked to pollution
|a sea turtle caught in fishing net|
Here is an example of artificial light; this can be a big disturbance for the turtles.
If you look at this turtle’s neck you can see a cauliflower-like tumor (fibropapillomas).
- Don't drive on sea turtle nesting beaches
- Make sure to fill in any holes you dig while visiting the beach
- Remove any beach chairs, beach umbrellas, boats, or other beach furniture each evening
- Avoid disturbing marked sea turtle nests, and take your trash with when you leave the beach