This week we will be discussing Floridian Sea Turtles. The nesting season occurs from March through October down here, so we are dedicating this week to educating our readers about this cause. We will first give a description of these beautiful creatures, discuss how they mature from egg to adult, and finally how you the reader can help!
Sea Turtles are most commonly known for their large shells on their back and vary in shapes and sizes. Their front limbs are extremely large, allowing them to swim for extended periods of time. The smallest and rarest Sea Turtle is the “Kemp’s Ridley” which varies from seventy to one hundred pounds, while “Leatherback” turtles can reach up to two thousand pounds and seven or eight feet long. The mist common Sea Turtle in Florida is the Loggerhead, which average around three hundred pounds and 3 feet long.
Sea Turtles begin their lives in a tropical climate, where their mother left them as eggs to incubate on shore. Once she lays the eggs and covers the nest, she never returns. After about two or three months, the eggs hatch and they head down to the sea. Sadly many of the eggs never reach maturity, as they are eaten by seagulls when they hatch, or by other animals who live in the oceans.
The reason for such awareness surrounding Sea Turtles is that the use of their shell, eggs, leather, oil and even their meat has continuously decreased their numbers Pollution, Littering and even drowning, as they are air breathing creatures, also dwindle their numbers annually.
What can you do? There are many groups and foundations set up to protect Sea Turtles that you can join, they are even under the protection of federal/state laws. “Adopting” is a popular trend where you can adopt a specific turtle or even an entire nest. There are levels of involvement, donating 50 bucks every year or even up to thousands of dollars. Another great way is donating time at rescue centers and other facilities around the sunshine state
Go online and google centers or foundations in your area to get started. There are many ways to get involved, do your part today!