Marine turtles have survived for 100 million years, but now they may be gone in a few decades. All seven species of marine turtles are endangered, three critically so. Hunting and illegal egg collection are a major factor in the decline of these beautiful aquatic creatures – more than 80,000 are estimated to be killed each year.
Endangered to Critically Endangered
Unknown due to difficulty in data collection
Open water and coasts
Hunting and illegal egg collection, poaching for shells
Marine turtles are some of the oldest creatures on Earth. They range widely in size and weight from 85 – 100 pounds for the smallest all the way up to 2,000 pounds for the largest, the leatherback turtle. All species of marine turtles in our oceans are threatened.
There are seven species of marine turtles found in all warm and temperate waters throughout the world. These turtles are air-breathing reptiles built for life in the sea, their aerodynamic shape and powerful flippers enable them to swim long distances at deep depths.
These incredible creatures migrate hundreds of miles every year to nesting areas and feeding grounds. Most marine turtles rarely, if ever, return to the shore after their first journey following hatching. Females return to the land to lay their eggs.
Photo by Paul Hilton for Greenpeace (Right)
All seven marine turtle species are endangered, three critically so: leatherbacks, hawksbill, and Kemps’ Ridley turtles. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, tens of thousands of these creatures are lost each year to feed the demand from illegal markets.
With strong legislation and enforcement, we can help to insure that marine turtles will still be swimming in our oceans millions of years from now.
Photo by Paul Hilton for Greenpeace (Left) Art Wolfe (Right)
States where we're fighting to protect Marine Turtles
KLCC: Measure To Curb Endangered Animal Poaching On Oregon November Ballot
August 8, 2016
Portland Tribune: Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon
July 7, 2016
KITV: Governor Ige signs ivory sales ban into law
June 30, 2016
Washington Voters Overwhelmingly Approve New State Laws to Protect Endangered Species