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People are the biggest threat to sea turtles. From coastal development to commercial fisheries, interactions with humans are impacting sea turtles at every life stage and across their varied habitats.
On the beach, rampant seaward development has increased coastal erosion creating less than suitable nesting habitat for females. Artificial lighting from these developments then disorients hatchlings when they emerge from their nests, leading them toward the land rather than the ocean. During their juvenile life stage, sea turtles are impacted in their nearshore developmental habitats by water pollution from run off. They also feed on bits of plastic debris, which can lead to difficulty eating or even death. As adults, sea turtles begin migrating from their feeding areas to their natal nesting beach. These long migrations result in increased interactions with commercial fisheries. Sea turtles in the adult life stage are also threatened by poaching for meat, eggs and shells.
All of these threats can be co
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What is the biggest threat to sea turtles?
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Much can be learned about the condition of the planet's environment by looking at sea turtles. They have existed for over 100 million years, and they travel throughout the world's oceans. But in last 100 years, sea turtles populations have declined drastically. Today, all sea turtles found in U.S. waters are federally listed as threatened or endangered. It is estimated that only one in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to reach adulthood. Take the quiz to learn more about the issues impacting sea turtles today!
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