Sea turtles battle the odds

By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Sea turtles are in a fight for survival from the time they hatch. They dig out of sand and run a gauntlet of predators to hit the waves before embarking on a long and risky migration. It’s no wonder that only about 1 out of a thousand sea turtles lives to be an adult.

If they make it to adulthood, some sea turtles can live to be more than 100 years old. It turns out that’s a long time to absorb pollutants. From industrial chemicals to pesticides, contaminants are weakening the sea turtles’ immune systems and leaving them at higher risk for infection. Smaller eggs are being laid and contamination is even passed to the embryos within.

Sea turtle numbers have already plummeted from climate change, poaching, inadvertant snaring and ingestion of marine trash. These creatures lived with dinosaurs, and it’s sad to think their days may be numbered.