Reflections on sea turtle conservation

Godley, B.J., Broderick, A.C., Colman, L.P., Formia, A., Godfrey, M.H., Hamann, M., Nuno, A., Omeyer, L.C.M., Patricio, A.R., Phillott, A.D., Rees, A.F., and Shanker, K. (2020) Reflections on sea turtle conservation. Oryx, 54 (3). pp. 287-289.

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Abstract

[Extract] Why do sea turtles garner such intense interest? The answer is visceral: they are widely loved! A cryptic life cycle spent mostly out of view lends a sense of mystery that makes them special. Yet, these large animals are highly accessible at an extremely vulnerable time, when females emerge on sandy beaches at night to lay eggs, before disappearing again into the oceans. Being nocturnal, they provide us the adventure of going out in the dark on secluded beaches to find them. Plus, the hatchlings are cute, and releasing them into the sea must be one of the most engaging activities that people can do with a protected species.

To mark World Sea Turtle Day on 16 June, we—conservation scientists working across the oceans on this small yet well-studied group of seven species—reflect on their conservation. Sea turtles have lived in the oceans, largely unchanged, for millions of years. They play important roles in their ecosystems, possibly even as ecosystem engineers, and serve as prey for other protected species (Veríssimo et al., 2012). They have been a source of sustenance and useful products for people for millennia, and these needs persist (Hancock et al., 2017; Humber et al., 2017; Delisle et al., 2018; Sardeshpande & MacMillan, 2019). Consequently, sea turtles are culturally important and the subject of myths and lore. They have also become economically important to many coastal communities through tourism (Waylen et al., 2009), although this can affect turtles or their habitats, if not correctly managed (Katselidis et al., 2013).

Item ID: 63086
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 1365-3008
Copyright Information: ©2020 Fauna & Flora International
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 07:34
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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