Sea Turtle

Primordial creatures, sea turtles are among the oldest vertebrates on the planet. They are the order of the chelones and have survived all the earth's catastrophes for more than 250 million years. Until now.

Eretmochelys imbricata (CR, Critically Endangered IUCN Red List) is the most colorful of the 7 existing marine turtle species; none of them today is exempt from the danger of extinction. These animals in the context of migrations are those that travel the most considerable distances. Thanks to the Earth's magnetic field, they can swim following long routes towards specific beaches without ever losing their orientation. Adult individuals, for reproductive purposes, choose as nesting beaches those where they were born, which have been chosen, in turn, by their mothers for their advantageous position. Sea turtles do not hatch their eggs and do not carry out parental care for their young: for this reason it is necessary that the place of laying is as safe as possible.

Sea turtles are considered keystone species, playing a critical role in maintaining the structure of both marine and coastal ecological communities. Feeding on algae, sponges, jellyfish, posidonia meadows and some corals, they help keep the number and species of the community in balance; their eggs, hatched or not hatched, as well as the young that cannot reach the sea after hatching, are instead sources of essential nutrients for the vegetation of the coastal dune environment.

Centuries of poaching, induced by its wonderful carapace exploited for decorative purposes, tourism in the reproduction areas, pollution - in particular of plastic - and accidental fishing (bycatch) are the main anthropogenic disturbances that threaten the survival of these wonderful marine reptiles on a global scale.

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