Six of the seven sea turtle species are listed as either threatened or endangered.Take Action ↓
Sea turtles have captivated our collective imagination for as long as humans have roamed the Earth. According to Hawaiian legend, sea turtles guided the first voyagers to the island nation. The Moche civilization of ancient Peru worshipped these mystical sea creatures, and much of their surviving artwork is of sea turtles’ mosaic shells. Ancient Chinese mythology often depicts sea turtles as symbols of wisdom. Despite their cultural prominence throughout human history, the lives of sea turtles remain very much a mystery.
“The world rides through space on the back of a turtle. This is one of the great ancient world myths, found wherever men and turtles were gathered together.”Terry Pratchett,
author of Small Gods
For more than 100 million years, sea turtles have navigated the vast, open ocean, using the Earth’s invisible magnetic fields as a compass and their birth sites as a destination. Sea turtles are essential in maintaining the balance of both aquatic and coastal ecosystems. When they come ashore to nest and lay eggs, they provide vital nutrients to the soil, helping vegetation take root and thrive. When they feed on seagrass beds, they essentially act as seagrass farmers, actively fortifying a vital ecosystem which other species then use for a nursery as well as protection. A single acre of seagrass may support as many as 40,000 fish and 50 million small invertebrates like crabs, oysters, and mussels. Turtles are strong, long-living creatures — some do not reach sexual maturity until 50 years old. At the same time, they’re incredibly fragile. 90% of hatchlings do not survive for more than one year.
They survived the ice age. They survived the meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. But sea turtles might not survive us.
Sea turtles are resilient, but they need your help.