Sea turtles are beautiful reptiles that form part of the intricate ecosystem of the marine world. Easily recognized by their shells, sea turtles are not hard to miss as they swim and move to and from land and sea.
Loggerhead sea turtles are the most abundant sea turtle found in the United States. From having a population of several million, the total population of loggerhead turtles endangered is far less than a hundred thousand.
Knowing why the loggerhead sea turtles are endangered is important to save and protect the marine turtle population!
Why are Loggerhead Turtles Endangered?
A close look at different factors would be necessary to determine what makes loggerhead turtles endangered.
● Fishing tools of fishermen
Fishermen use different fishing tools like trawls, longlines, and gillnets to catch fish. Many times, these turtles are caught alongside other fish. This unintended capture is called a "bycatch," which remains a worldwide problem.
● Decrease in habitat space
Female loggerhead turtles usually lay their eggs on beaches. But with coastal development, environmental pollution, and new predators, there are fewer breeding zones for turtles to nest.
● Ocean pollution
Loggerhead turtles sometimes see plastic grocery bags as jellyfish, so they attempt to feast on them. However, this often leads to suffocation and drowning of the turtle.
Oil spillage also makes surface water toxic and undrinkable for loggerhead turtles.
● Vessel strikes
When loggerhead turtles swim around the water surface, they are likely to get hit by a boat, leading to injuries and sometimes death.
● Climate change
Climate change can result in higher temperatures unfavorable to the development of the eggs laid in the sand. Rising tides and storms can also cause the eggs to get washed away.
Lastly, direct harvesting of turtles for their meat and eggs is also a major cause of the dwindling population of loggerhead turtles.
What is Being Done to Save the Loggerhead Turtles?
You can get involved by:
- Learning about sea turtles and how to make better seafood choices.
- Enlighten your friends and family about what makes loggerhead turtles endangered and how to practice sustainable fishing. There are tools like turtle excluder devices that can reduce the possibility of bycatches.
- Support organizations with a mission to save endangered sea species. At Marine Life Mission, a percentage of your purchase of any jewelry is used to fund the rescue and preservation of marine animals. In addition, you get a tracker to track your newly adopted sea turtle!
- Choose vacations at turtle-friendly locations where cautious and life-saving steps are taken to preserve sea turtles.
- Lastly, practice proper disposal of waste and limit your plastic use!
Although loggerhead turtles are considered endangered at the moment, you can help save these marine animals from extinction by taking proactive steps to preserve their lives.