Sea Turtle Essay

1174 Words 5 Pages
Introduction
For over 100 million years sea turtles have covered extensive distances across the world 's oceans, filling a fundamental role in the composure of marine habitats. Seven different species of these aquatic reptiles graze our ocean waters, from the shallow seagrass beds of the Indian Ocean, to the vibrant reefs of the Coral Triangle, and even the sandy beaches of the Eastern Pacific. Human activities have tipped the scales in opposition to the survival of these ancient mariners, which are advantageous indicators of ecosystem health and wellness. Nearly all species of sea turtle are identified as endangered. Mutilated for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. Additionally, they
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There is a greater number of loggerhead sea turtles in the waters of the United States than any other species of sea turtle. As mentioned by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (1978), the National Marine Fisheries Service determined that the loggerhead sea turtle is made up of nine Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) and filed four DPSs as threatened and five DPSs as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The United States ESA of 1973 establishes policies and guidelines for identifying, listing, and protecting species of wildlife that are endangered or threatened with extinction. It directs the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce to develop and implement recovery plans to promote the conservation of these endangered or threatened species. Depending on the species, responsibility for administering the act and achieving the goals and objectives of the recovery plan falls to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric …show more content…
Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established a recovery plan for the Northwest Atlantic population of the loggerhead sea turtle. In 1991, this recovery plan was put into action to ensure that the recovery unit met its recovery criteria alleviating threats to the species so that protections under the ESA would no longer be necessary. In order to reach this goal, the current status and trends of the recovery unit at that time had to be evaluated. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (2008), annual nest totals for the Northwest Atlantic loggerhead recovery unit averaged 5,215 nests from 1989-2008, while their target is to restore the population to approximately 7,000 nests. The loggerhead nesting trend from daily beach surveys showed a significant decline of 1.3% annually since 1983. Nest totals from aerial surveys conducted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources showed a 1.9% annual decline in nesting in South Carolina since 1980. Overall, there is strong statistical evidence to suggest the Northwest Atlantic Recovery Unit has experienced a long-term

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