What you need to know about World Turtle Day

Sponsored by the nonprofit organization American Tortoise Rescue, this celebration seeks to increase knowledge of and respect for turtles and tortoises
What you need to know about World Turtle Day
Several organizations around the globe are working to help turtles survive - Photo: Courtesy of Sea World, San Diego
23/05/2018
18:05
Newsroom
Mexico City
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Since the year 2000, World Turtle Day is celebrated on May 23 with the purpose of raising awareness about the care that these animals deserve.

Sponsored by the nonprofit organization American Tortoise Rescue, this celebration also seeks to increase knowledge of and respect for turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to take care of turtles and ensure their survival.

These animals currently face several dangers such as the presence of plastic objects in open waters, in which they may get caught or asphyxiated when mistaking them for food. This is why several organizations around the globe are working to help turtles survive and effectively reproduce.

Here are some facts about these animals:

  • Nearly every coastal region around the planet is occupied by sea turtles at some point during the year.
     
  • Turtle species are known to have existed on our planet for over 150 million years.
     
  • Out of the seven existing sea-turtle species in the world, five of them approach the Gulf of Mexico every year. These species are Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the green sea turtle, the loggerhead sea turtle, the hawksbill sea turtle, and the leatherback sea turtle.
     
  • Adult turtles abandon their nest after spawning, which allows for it to be destroyed by invasive species.
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  • The greatest threat sea turtles face are human beings. This is due to water pollution, the dumping of several toxic substances, poaching, nest destruction, egg consumption, and construction in nesting places.
     
  • Sea turtle hatchlings find their way to the ocean by following the moonlight.
     
  • Artificial lights at beaches where the sea turtles spawn cause the species to become disoriented, driving them away from the ocean and ultimately causing their death.

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