Turtles play an important role in ocean ecosystems

Why Care About Sea Turtles? Marine Biologists know sea turtles are essential for the health of our eco-system. Sea turtles play vital roles in the health of our oceans and on land. Each of the 7 species provides critical activities which has a domino effect on many species in the ocean and the land.

Follow your instincts

Sea Turtle Patrollers make the difference. Patrolling is a direct protection, boots-on-the-ground job.
It’s difficult—sometimes dangerous—but a highly effective conservation tool. Countless sea turtles and habitats exist today that would not without community-based patrollers. They walk the beach through the night, often in tropical downpours. When they find a nesting turtle, they sit with her, protecting her until she returns to the ocean and safeguarding her eggs thereafter. When the hatchlings emerge, patrollers protect them on their first journey to the ocean.

The first way in which turtles affect their ecosystem is perhaps the simplest: they make up a large part of it. This isn’t a metaphor: turtles make up a significantly higher percentage of an ecosystem’s biomass than most other animals. This is primarily due to their ability to achieve high population densities. In some habitats, pond slider turtles can number over 2000 individuals per hectare. Removing such a high percentage of an ecosystem’s biomass can have severe negative effects, perhaps restructuring the ecosystem entirely.

Turtles also regulate the energy flow of a given environment. Turtles redistribute energy in multiple ways, such as by being a food source for predators. In addition to being prey themselves, their eggs are food for many animals. Sea turtles lay their eggs on land, but only 27% of the energy in those eggs actually returns to the ocean as hatchlings. The rest stays on land and provides energy to the organisms that dwell on it. Beach vegetation benefits from the minerals that are released by the breakdown of eggshells and the bodies of unfortunate hatchlings. This vegetation keeps erosion in check, and a decline in sea turtle population could result in a decline in the number of beaches.

Share This Post!

Joining Hands with us YUCI

Become Part of YUCI to Further Your Career.

Volunteer Application (#2)