Turtles

Sea turtles to spend more time house-hunting in the future

In the future, sea turtles in the US will find it harder to find suitable nesting habitat, due to climate change, rising sea levels and coastal development.

A team led by Florida State University came to this conclusion after their research which modelled the suitability of coastal habitats in the eastern United States by 2050 for sea turtle nesting, after considering predicted sea-level rise and future climates.

Their findings were recently published in the Regional Environmental Change journal.

Baby loggerhead

Do young loggerhead turtles swim or drift?

Despite good swimming abilities, juvenile loggerhead turtles are thought to drift passively for a significant portion of their existence on the high seas

However, a study by researchers from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found that turtles were swimming against the prevailing current in a statistically significant pattern at a rate of 30 cm/sec, which indicates an ability to detect the current flow and orient themselves to swim into the current flow direction.

This study provides (...) compelling evidence that these turtles are able to resist such transport using some mechanism not yet fully understood.

—Dr. Donald Kobayashi, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Turtles and plastic bags
Plastics floating in the ocean build a coating of algae and microorganisms that smells edible to turtles.

Why do sea turtles eat plastic? Perhaps because it smells good

To understand sea turtle behavior around ocean plastics, the research team compared how sea turtles in a lab setting reacted to smelling odors of turtle food, ocean-soaked plastic, clean plastic and water.

The turtles ignored the scents of clean plastic and water, but responded to the odors of food and ocean-soaked plastics by showing foraging behavior. This included poking their noses out of the water repeatedly as they tried to smell the food source, and increasing their activity as they searched.

Study identifies key loggerhead turtle foraging grounds

After tracking female loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean, scientists at University of Exeter discovered that they feed at the same locations every year.

Specifically, these were in the Adriatic region, Tunisian Plateau and the eastern Mediterranean. Unfortunately, some of these locations are not ideal, and lead the loggerheads into danger.

New danger for the turtles on Bali

The cages and slaughterhouses in Tanjung Benoa are now all empty and no more turtles are being traded in public places. While it is still possible to find some animals on the black market but they are now hard to find. The number of killed and traded animals have dropped around 90 percent since the onset of the campaign!

There were reasons to be proud. After an eight year battle against the Turtle mafia we seem to have won the war.

Yet the issue is now rising its ugly head again.