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March 20, 2011


Loggerheads (Caretta caretta)

The United States Govt. recently has failed to increase protections for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles, despite overwhelming evidence. It is estimated their Pacific populations have dropped by over 80%, and may soon face extinction in the 21st century.

Click here for the press release from the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Oceana, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Appearance: Reddish-brown in color, with giant heads and powerful jaws, they weigh around 250 lbs and can grow to 4 feet long.

Locations: Found worldwide in warm and temperate ocean waters, and are the most common sea turtles found in the United States. The most important nesting beaches are on South Florida beaches (U.S.) and on Masirah Island (Oman).

The western coast of the United States is a significant migratory corridor for Pacific loggerheads. Pacific loggerheads will swim across the Pacific to California’s coast from their main breeding grounds in Japan. Baja California is an important area for loggerhead congregation.

Reproduction: They don’t reach sexual maturity until they’re between 20-30 years old, another reason why their populations have been suffering. Too many are killed before they’ve had a chance to mate and lay eggs. Females can lay three or more nests during the nesting season! Even so, of every 1,000 to 10,000 juvenile turtles that hatch, only two will grow up to become an adult.

Food: crabs, fish, mollusks, jellyfish, sea urchins, sponges and shrimp

Threats: Threats are pretty much the same for all sea turtle species: fishing gear-related incidents, loss of nesting habitat, bright artificial coastal city lights, boat collisions, accidental ingestion of or entanglement in plastic and marine debris, poaching and global warming.

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, drowning or entanglement in longline fishing gear from commercial fisheries is a primary danger to the loggerheads.

Random Fact: The loggerhead is the state reptile of South Carolina and Florida

*Other General Sea Turtle Fact: The sex of sea turtle babies is dependant on temperature. The turtles that are closer to the surface (warmer) will develop as females, and the deeper eggs (colder) will develop into males. With global warming and climate change, the ratios have begun favoring higher numbers of female turtles.

Let’s keep these guys from extinction! Every small effort makes a difference in marine conservation! Start out simple by using reusable grocery bags or reducing your driving.

Peace,Love&Sea Turtles!!

Also, P.S.—To whom it may concern, don’t be mad I don’t mean to steal this pic, I just found it on google image search.

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