Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles are a marine reptile, and like the sharks are a very ancient group of animals. They can live over a hundred years, and have very few natural predators. There are currently 9 species of sea turtles worldwide, and all are endangered or threatened.  Although they breathe air, they live almost their entire life in the sea, coming ashore only to lay eggs.

 

Characteristics

Today there are 3 types of sea turtles in the Gulf of Thailand: The Hawksbill, the Olive Ridley, and the Green Sea Turtles (previously the Leatherback could be found here but has since been extirpated).

Importance

Turtles are an indicator of biodiversity and anthropogenic pressures. Sea Turtles have lived in the sea since the time of the dinosaurs, but today are faced with extinction due to human activities (primarily by marine debris, fishing, and habitat destruction). As turtles migrate over great distances, protection of sea turtles is often difficult.

Notes

Every year Save Koh Tao works with the Thai Navy to protect turtle nesting areas and release over 100 juvenile sea turtles through our local head-starting program. Turtle releases occur each year in March, and we welcome more support.

 

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