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Infographic: Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

For more than 100 million years sea turtles have covered vast distances across the world's oceans, filling a vital role in the balance of marine habitats.

7 species of sea turtles grace our ocean waters and most are endangered

Leatherback turtle silhouette

Leatherback

Dermochelys coriacea

Status: Critically Endangered
Length: 55-63 inches
Diet: Jellyfish

Loggerhead Turtle Silhouette

Loggerhead

Caretta caretta

Status: Endangered
Length: 33-49 inches
Diet: Clams, sea urchins

Green turtle silhouette

Green turtle

Chelonia mydas

Status: Endangered
Length: 31-47 inches
Diet: Seagrass

Flatback turtle silhouette

Flatback

Natator depressus

Status: Data Deficient
Length: 31-37 inches
Diet: Crabs, other crustaceans, mollusks

Hawksbill turtle silhouette

Hawksbill

Eretmochelys imbricata

Status: Critically Endangered
Length: 30-35 inches
Diet: Sponges, sea anemones

Kemp's Ridley turtle silhouette

Kemp's Ridley

Lepidochelys kempii

Status: Critically Endangered
Length: 24-28 inches
Diet: Crabs, other crustaceans, mollusks

Olive Ridley turtle silhouette

Olive ridley

Lepdochelys olivacea

Status: Vulnerable
Length: 24-28 inches
Diet: Crabs, other crustaceans, mollusks

Deadly Threats at Every Life Stage

Fishing net

Bycatch

The incidental capture of non-target species when fishing.

Turtle shell

Illegal trade and direct consumption

Used for meat, eggs, shell, leather, curios.

Sea turtles

Habitat Loss

Uncontrolled coastal development destroys or disturbs nesting beaches.

Turtle hatchling

Climate Change

Global warming could skew sex ratios, resulting in more females.

90% population decline of Eastern Pacific leatherbacks over the last 30 years
Tens of Thousands of sea turtles are lost each year to overharvesting and illegal trade
4,950 turtles are caught each year as bycatch by Indonesian longline vessels alone

How You Can Help

Fish

Purchase Sustainable Seafood

Pledge to buy seafood that's certified as being sustainable and urge stores and restaurants to carry certified fish.

Shopping basket

Make a Good Buy When Traveling

Think twice and ask at least a few questions before buying that tortoiseshell souvenir, coral jewelry or snakeskin belt.

Suitcase

Support Sea Turtle Ecotourism

Book a sustainable tour to see turtles, particularly when it benefits local communities.

Sources:

  • "90% population decline …" statistic from Las Baulas National Park, Costa Rica
  • "4,950 turtles caught as bycatch …" statistic from Research Center for Capture Fisheries Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (PRPT)
  • More information can be found at www.worldwildlife.org/species/marine-turtle

Share

  • #DidYouKnow leatherback turtles can be more than 5 feet long + weigh 1500 pounds? http://wwf.to/14xj6Ae via @world_wildlife Tweet This
  • What's on the menu for sea #turtles? Seaweed, jellyfish, crabs, clams + more! http://wwf.to/11ajLqt via @world_wildlife Tweet This
  • Hundreds of thousands of #turtles are accidentally caught + die in fishing gear every year http://wwf.to/1bwSNdD via @world_wildlife Tweet This
  • Climate change could mean more female sea turtles than male. Temps determine turtle sex. http://wwf.to/11zOB8m via @world_wildlife Tweet This
  • Choosing #sustainable seafood can help save sea turtles! http://wwf.to/ZK65l2 via @world_wildlife Tweet This

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