Threats to Sea Turtles
Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution are only
some of the things sea turtles must fight against to stay alive.
Researchers at FWRI are studying these threats and finding ways to
help the population survive.
This excerpt of the sea turtle Sea Stats publication describes the obstacles sea turtles face throughout their lives, including habitat destruction and poaching.
Artificial lighting on marine turtle nesting beaches disrupts the
ability of hatchlings to find the sea from their nest, an effect
termed "hatchling disorientation."
A high percentage of turtle strandings have been attributed to a
disease that causes tumors to cover a turtle's body and impede
their vision, mouth, and movement.
Coastal armoring structures (i.e., seawalls, bulkheads, revetments,
and sandbags) are designed to protect upland property, but have the
unfortunate effect of degrading marine turtle nesting habitat in
In mid-August, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society of Brevard
County (STPS) came to the rescue of thousands of sea turtle
hatchlings that were stunned by unusually cold surf water.
An alarming amount of litter and tar is collecting in the frontal
zones where baby sea turtles spend the early years of their lives.
The Sea Turtle Conservation League of Singer Island put together
this information and took photographs documenting the threat a
simple lounge chair can cause.
FWRI biologists and commercial charter boat fishermen teamed up to help rescue oil-impacted sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
View images of some of the threats to Florida's sea turtles.