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Unfortunately, there are more and more threats that sea turtles have to face in order to survive, which means that many of the species that make up this group are in serious danger of extinction. Being aware of this problem is the first step to be able to help them and avoid, thus, that they end up becoming extinct.
The Marine turtles perform important functions in different ecosystems present in the oceans, such as helping to maintain reefs or transporting seeds, nutrients and minerals, among many others. Understanding the importance of all species on the planet in the well-being of ecosystems is essential to learn how to solve the problems that we currently have, and we have, to face, because their disappearance affects us all. The human being lives because the oceans and the species that live in them exist, therefore, stop thinking selfishly and open the mind is now more important than ever, and this will only happen if we inform ourselves and promote environmental education. If you are also concerned about this issue, in this AnimalWised article, in collaboration with the CRAM Foundation (Center for the Recovery of Marine Animals), we explain how to help sea turtles.You may also be interested: Marine animals in danger of extinction Index
- Get informed
- Recycle and help reduce pollution
- Take care of their habitat
- Become a volunteer
- Collaborate with foundations that protect sea turtles
- Spread to raise awareness among others
1. Get informed
If being aware that there is a problem with the population of sea turtles is the first step to help these animals, informing us about the details of said problem is the second. Thus, we must know the causes that are leading some species of sea turtles to extinction to understand what we can do about it. Said threats are, mainly, the following.
- Contamination, which can be due to waste (especially plastic), chemical products (nuclear waste, waste or polluted water, fertilizers, etc.) and noise pollution (noise from submarines, oil infrastructures, etc.).
- Overfishing, This causes many turtles to be accidentally fished using trawl nets or longline fishing and suffer serious problems, have accidents with the boats themselves or become trapped in the so-called ghost nets, which are those lost or abandoned fishing nets. When they are fished by accident, it is common for them to suffer the so-called decompression syndrome caused by the sudden change in pressure when they are removed from the water. If they are not treated, they can die.
- Destruction of their natural habitat and nesting areas due to the overcrowding of the beaches, the construction of buildings and the increased use of the sea and the oceans as a means of transport, as this causes a greater number of accidental collisions with boats and their propellers.
- Climate change, which is having a strong impact on the nesting areas, on the determination of the number of males and females that are born (which depends on the temperature), on the ocean currents themselves, on sea levels, etc..
- Illegal traffic of their eggs and parts of their body, as well as to sell them as a pet.
Re-educating society in ecological values will not only help protect sea turtles, but also other animal species that are in vulnerable states. In this sense, small changes in our daily routine can make the threats of these turtles diminish. Now, once you have informed yourself and know the main dangers of these animals, ¿what are these changes?
2. Recycle and help reduce pollution
One of the most important changes to help protect sea turtles is to reduce single-use plastics and replace them with more durable and sustainable materials, since, in the marine environment, it is very common for turtles to mistake plastics for food, leading to accidents that often end the life of the animal. For example, instead of buying plastic bottles, prefer glass ones, substitute plastic bags for cloth ones, etc. Little by little and as you adapt your lifestyle to a more ecological one, you will be able to incorporate more significant changes. If you are interested in knowing what these turtles eat to understand why it is so important to reduce the use of these plastics, do not miss this article: "¿What do sea turtles eat? ".
On the other hand, minimize energy expenditure and recycle at home helps reduce environmental pollution, so it is also important to take this step and dispose of objects conscientiously, turn off the lights when no one is in that room, control the use of heating and air conditioning, reuse as much as possible, etc. Equally, promote renewable energy and betting on them is another fundamental measure to reduce the environmental impact, as well as carry out actions such as using public transport or buying local products. In the following video you will understand the importance of these actions.
3. Take care of your habitat
To take care of the habitat of sea turtles it is not only important to establish a recycling system and not soil the beaches, it is also important to help clean them, raise awareness about it and pay attention to the products of the sea that are bought for consumption. . In this way, if you have already applied the previous tips and want to go one step further to help preserve the life of sea turtles, do not hesitate and find out about the initiatives to clean the beaches closer to your place of residence.
Since overfishing is another threat that damages the habitat of sea turtles, eliminating the consumption of fish from the diet is the ideal measure to combat it. Now, if, for whatever reasons, you prefer not to take this step, you can choose to consume seafood sustainably fished. While it is true that these products tend to be more expensive, it is also true that they favor both your health and the well-being of the ecosystems that inhabit.
Discover in this other article the different types of sea turtles that exist, where they live and if they are threatened.
4. Become a volunteer
There are many volunteers you can do to help protect sea turtles. The Beach cleaning It is one of them and the ideal if you do not have enough time to commit to an entity to visit their facilities on a regular basis. Now, if you can do it, there are many associations and foundations that work daily to save, recover and re-release sea turtles that they find damaged or in very serious conditions. One of them is the CRAM Foundation, located in Barcelona, a center in charge of the rescue and recovery of the different marine species present on the Catalan coast that are currently threatened.
For volunteer at a recovery center of sea turtles and other animals, you should check the requirements of the center in question to see if you meet them. In general, the requirements to enter a volunteer program are:
- Being over 18 years.
- Minimum commitment established by each center.
5. Collaborate with foundations that protect sea turtles
If you cannot volunteer, there are other ways to collaborate with the centers that are dedicated to helping the sea turtles that they rescue and rehabilitate. In fact, these grants are just as important because they allow them to maintain the facilities and improve them, save a greater number of animals and offer the best quality of life to those specimens that cannot be released for health reasons or because they were born in captivity..
In many places there are centers dedicated to this purpose and all of them need to receive all the help possible, so do not hesitate to look for the ones in your area. The CRAM Foundation It is one of the most important centers in charge of saving Mediterranean animals, such as turtles and cetaceans. They have been doing this job for 20 years and continue to work 24 hours a day to rescue and recover as many animals as they can. Likewise, they carry out research projects whose objective is to recover marine ecosystems and the living beings that depend on them, educational and training projects to convey respect for the environment in general and the marine environment in particular, and projects of responsibility corporate social policy that allow companies to get involved in the conservation of marine animals.
To collaborate with the CRAM Foundation and thus help more sea turtles that accidentally get trapped in nets, suffer collisions with ships or other damage to be rescued, you have the following options:
- Sponsor a turtle. In the center there are some turtles that have not been able to be released due to the magnitude of their injuries and you can help support them by sponsoring one or more. Through this collaboration, you will be able to visit the center to see the sponsored turtle whenever you want, you will receive the certificate of sponsorship, photographs and a small gift.
- Make a donation. You can make a one-time donation or set a recurring donation. In both cases, you choose the amount. Likewise, you can consult the list of things they need for the center and buy what you want, such as cleaning products, food for animals, etc..
- Make you teamer. Teaming is a micro-donation system of only € 1 per month.
- Buy merchandising products. In its solidarity shop you will find different merchandising products that you can buy to help the animals of the center, since that money is destined for that purpose.
So that you know a little more about the work of recovery centers, such as the CRAM Foundation, don't miss this video with the story of Cemesa, a rescued turtle.
6. Spread the word to raise awareness among others
Of course, do not forget to share everything you have learned to make more people aware of this problem. Sea turtles need us to continue living and disseminating possible solutions is essential. You may not be able to make a financial donation to a sea turtle recovery center or you do not have time to volunteer, but if you share all the information, it is possible that someone who sees it can and will. Thus, sharing is also a way to help.
Remember that it is very important to re-educate society in ecological and environmentally friendly values. If we all understand the vital link established between all species, including the human species, we can work much better to protect this balance because the well-being of all depends on it..