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Importance Of Sea Turtle

Importance Of Sea Turtle

Turtles help control their prey. For example, leatherbacks help manage the amount of jellyfish in the ocean, hawksbills help reefs by eating sponges that compete with them for space.

Turtle nesting helps beaches. The nutrients left behind by eggs and hatchlings that don’t survive provide an important source for coastal vegetation.

Hatchlings are an essential source of food for many animals. Birds, fish, mammals like raccoons and others rely on plentiful hatchlings to survive during nesting season.

They are important for coastal economies and local communities. Many places rely on turtle watching or diving for jobs and income and a number of indigenous communities revere sea turtles as part of their cultures. Plus there are emotional and psychological advantages to seeing a sea turtle in the wild.

Green turtles feeding on seagrass is an important way to keep seagrass beds healthy. And healthy seagrass benefits many species and stores carbon.

Sea turtles provide habitat for an array of “aquatic hitchhikers” like barnacles and other small crustaceans, remoras, algae, and diatoms. Because sea turtles undergo long migrations, they help to transport these species. They also act as sort of an umbrella for fish that use them as shelter from predators. When at the sea surface to breathe or rest, sea turtles also sometimes provide a resting spot for seabirds to land on - sort of like a reptilian aircraft carrier!

Sea turtles play an important cultural role in many seaside communities around the world. Many indigenous cultures revere them or consider their ancestors. They are also an important source of income for coastal residents through turtle-watching ecotourism. The study has shown that sea turtle ecotourism can generate three times the income than by selling sea turtle parts (eggs, meat, & shells), making them worth more alive than dead.

Aside from their important ecological role, sea turtles are some of the most charismatic animals on the planet! It seems that everyone loves sea turtles. They are a source of awe and inspiration; watching them haul themselves up a beach to nest, swim through a reef, or watching hatchlings charge to the sea are truly magical and unforgettable experiences. Without sea turtles, our blue planet wouldn’t be complete.


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