Five sea turtle populations are endangered

Sep 16, 2011
A newborn Loggerhead turtle walks into the sea in Praia do Forte, Brazil, 2009. The United States issued a ruling on Friday saying that five world populations of loggerhead sea turtles are endangered species but four are only "threatened."

The United States issued a ruling on Friday saying that five world populations of loggerhead sea turtles are endangered species but four are only "threatened."

The decision to split up loggerhead turtles into nine separate populations for conservation efforts was detailed in a 331-page document by the US and the .

"This division... will help us focus more on the individual threats turtles face in different areas," said Jim Lecky, NOAA Fisheries director of protected resources.

"Wide-ranging species, such as the loggerhead, benefit from assessing and addressing threats on a regional scale."

However, Oceana, a leading conservation group which had pressed for more protections for sea turtles, described the move as "bittersweet."

"Sea turtles are disappearing right before this generation's eyes," said Whit Sheard, Pacific counsel and senior adviser for Oceana.

"While today's designation gives new hope for loggerheads, it leaves the fate of the species in the Atlantic at risk."

Two turtle populations -- those in the Southeast Indo-Pacific Ocean and Northwest Atlantic Ocean -- were changed from endangered to threatened because their nesting areas are in protected lands and their numbers are stabilizing.

Improvements to , which now include turtle excluder devices in shrimp trawlers allowing turtles to escape, have also helped save .

The five that retained their endangered status were in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, , North Indian Ocean, North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific.

Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity were among the environmental groups that petitioned in 2007 for loggerhead sea turtles in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic to be reclassified as endangered.

"Loggerheads have declined by at least 80 percent in the North Pacific and could become functionally or ecologically extinct by the mid-21st century if additional protections are not put into place," said a statement by Oceana.

"Florida beaches, which host the largest nesting population of loggerheads in the Northwest Atlantic, have seen more than a 25 percent decline in nesting since 1998."

Earlier this week, a study in the US journal Biological Conservation said that improved fishing nets have saved tens of thousands of endangered in recent years, but 4,600 are still dying annually, mainly in Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawls.

Explore further: Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

It's a record summer for some turtles

Aug 21, 2006

Italian scientists say an endangered species of marine turtle -- loggerhead turtles -- are appearing along Italy's southern shores in increasing numbers.

Endangered listing eyed for US loggerhead turtles

Mar 11, 2010

(AP) -- The federal government on Wednesday recommended an endangered-species listing for the loggerhead turtles in U.S. waters, a decision that could lead to tighter restrictions on fishing and other maritime ...

Study: Loggerhead turtles put at risk by fishing

Sep 03, 2009

(AP) -- It's a scene that scientists say is all too common: A commercial fishing boat pulls in a net full of shrimp or tuna and finds a loggerhead sea turtle mixed in with the catch.

Loggerhead turtles on decline in Florida

Apr 20, 2008

The number of loggerhead sea turtle nests is on the decline throughout Florida, indicating a potential threat to the animals, wildlife experts say.

Recommended for you

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

15 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

Noise pollution impacts fish species differently

18 hours ago

Acoustic disturbance has different effects on different species of fish, according to a new study from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter which tested fish anti-predator behaviour.

User comments : 0