Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. These roles range from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches and coastal dunes.
Why are sea turtles important for the marine environment?
What we do know is that sea turtles—even at diminished population levels—play an important role in ocean ecosystems by maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, providing key habitat for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land.
Why are turtles important to the ecosystem?
Turtles and their eggs are important prey to a wide variety of predators. These reptiles graze, they dig burrows, they disperse seeds, they create and modify habitats, and they affect food webs and mineral cycling.
Why are sea turtles important?
As we have shown Sea Turtles play a very important part within Marine ecosystems. Travelling thousands of miles across Oceans, various species of Sea Turtles help maintain healthy sea grass beds, provide important nutrients to nesting dunes and ensure our Coral Reefs remain strong and healthy.
What do sea turtles do for the ecosystem?
Sea turtles provide habitat for an array of “aquatic hitchhikers” like barnacles and other small crustaceans, remoras, algae, and diatoms. Because sea turtles undergo long migrations, they help to transport these species. They also act as sort of an umbrella for fish that use them as shelter from predators.
Why are hawksbill sea turtles important?
Hawksbills help maintain the health of coral reefs. As they remove prey such as sponges from the reef’s surface, they provide better access for reef fish to feed. They also have cultural significance and tourism value.
What is special about sea turtles?
As reptiles, sea turtles breathe air, but they have the ability, under natural conditions, to remain submerged for hours at a time. They even sleep underwater. Most sea turtles spend their entire life at sea, only returning to nesting beaches to lay eggs.
Why do the sea turtles come ashore?
Sea turtles eggs must incubate in moist sand. For this reason, every year, some beaches around the tropical and temperate world are visited, mostly at night, by adult females who come ashore to dig a nest chamber and there, deposit their eggs.
How do turtles help the economy?
Ecology and economy in sync
Dozens of seasonal workers increase the staff count during the turtle nesting and hatching season to monitor nests, host nighttime nesting walks, and support ongoing research activities. The retail store channels sales tax dollars into county and state coffers.
What would happen without turtles?
If sea turtles went extinct, dune vegetation would lose a major source of nutrients and would not be as healthy and would not be strong enough to maintain the dunes, resulting in increased erosion. … If sea turtles went extinct, both the marine and beach/dune ecosystems would be negatively affected.
What are 5 interesting facts about sea turtles?
9 Super Cool Facts About Sea Turtles
- They think jellyfish are delicious. …
- They’re the oceans’ lawnmowers. …
- They cannot retract into their shell like other turtles. …
- Temperature dictates the sex of baby turtles. …
- They’ve been around for a very, very long time. …
- They can hold their breath for five hours underwater.
Why is it important to save the turtles?
Sea turtles demonstrate the ultimate lesson of ecology – that everything is connected. Sea turtles are part of two vital ecosystems, beaches and marine systems. If sea turtles become extinct, both the marine and beach ecosystems will weaken.
Why are turtles important to Aboriginal culture?
Turtles are a favoured food source for Indigenous communities and therefore appear as totems and in Dreamtime stories and Creation myths. Indigenous people respect the food resources that sustain them and they celebrate the turtle in rituals that aim to increase the bounty of the species.
Why is the loggerhead sea turtle important?
Facts. Loggerhead turtles are named for their large heads that support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey like clams and sea urchins. … They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds.
How do leatherback sea turtles help the environment?
Leatherback turtles consume large numbers of jellyfish which helps to keep populations of these marine organisms in check. Marine turtles, including leatherbacks, also provide a vital source of income as a draw for ecotourism in coastal communities, especially in the Coral Triangle.