Dangers Facing Turtles

Sea turtles have lived in the world’s oceans for more than 150 million years. Sadly these ancient reptiles are now globally threatened with extinction. The turtle populations are gradually declining as a result of the global socio-economic situation. Some of the biggest threats include

Globally, due to human actions and lifestyles,  6 of the 7 species of sea turtle are classified as threatened or endangered.

The biggest threats include:

  • Commercial Fishing By-Catch and Entanglement
  • Illegal trade and poaching of eggs, meat, and shells
  • Human Development of Coastal Habitat
  • Marine Pollution
  • Climate Change

Global Status

The world’s seven sea turtle species are classified as follows according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

  • Leatherbacks: Critically Endangered
  • Greens: Endangered
  • Loggerheads: Endangered
  • Hawksbills: Critically Endangered
  • Olive Ridleys: Vulnerable
  • Kemp’s Ridleys: Critically Endangered

IUCN Definitions:

Critically Endangered: Species is considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Endangered: Species is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Vulnerable: Species is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.


What Can You Do To Help

  • You can help to eliminate commercial fishing by-catch by choosing seafood that is sustainable and fished according to regulations.  Check out our resources on choosing sustainable seafood.
  • Make sure to never buy any souvenirs or handy crafts made with turtle or tortoise shell.
  • Never Consume turtle meat or eggs.
  • When planning vacations research coastal hotels to make sure they are not impacting beach habitat and are supporting conservation efforts.
  • Limit the amount of plastic bags and other products used, recycle whenever possible.
  • Spread Awareness and get involved
  • Donate to Non-Profit Conservation Organizations and Foundations such as the C.C.B.D