Turtles and tourism

Topic Selected: Travel and Tourism

General Article icon Type: General Article

They may have outlived the mass-extinction of dinosaurs,but sea turtles face a new threat: tourism.

By Iris Knoop, Responsible Travel 

 

Sea turtles have been around for millions of years. They migrate long distances around the world, feeding on anything from jellyfish to sea urchins and sea grasses, but always return to the same beach they were born on to lay their eggs. The female crawls ashore to lay up to 120 eggs, covers up the nest with sand using her flippers and returns to the sea, never to see her hatchlings. 

The hatchlings will emerge from the nest in large groups and make a dash for the sea by following the light of the moon and stars reflecting in the sea. It is estimated that only around one in every 1,000 of them will reach maturity in about 20 years and they may grow over 80 years old. 

The ever increasing demand from tourism for pristine, sandy beaches – often favoured by sea turtles &nd

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