- Whether due to climate change, fishing or environmental pollution – the survival of many turtle species is extremely endangered. Unfortunately, the necessary changes that would be needed to sustainably protect turtles are not yet foreseeable in many places. All the more important is the commitment on a small scale.
- Since the world’s population is constantly growing, new natural areas must be opened up for urban development and the expansion of agricultural land. To the chagrin of turtles, this often happens along lakes, rivers and river deltas, hitherto very important retreats of reptiles. The drainage of swamps and wetlands for agriculture and peat extraction is also problematic.
- Tourism adds another stress factor for sea turtles. Due to the tourist use of beaches as well as hotel and road construction, the natural habitats of some species have already shrunk by more than 90 percent.
- Although industrial fishing is not primarily aimed at sea turtles, it is currently their biggest threat. Every year, several hundred thousand animals end up as bycatch of the large fishing boats. Entangled in trawl or gill nets, they drown or suffer severe cuts. Technologies designed to save turtles from trawl nets already exist, but have rarely been used for cost reasons.
- Turtles have been living on our planet for over 200 million years. And no matter whether ice ages or meteorite impacts, so far the defensive animals have survived every catastrophe. But it looks like that could be changing right now. Pollution, climate crisis and fishing have brought reptiles to the brink of extinction
- Why it’s high time to save the turtles:
- There are a total of 357 turtle species in the world, of which almost half (171) are on the red list of endangered species
- Turtles are next to primates the most endangered vertebrates in the world
- 6 out of 7 known sea turtle species are threatened with extinction
- Since records began, at least 8 turtle species have become irretrievably extinct
- In addition to the goal of preserving local populations through conservation measures and raising awareness among the local population of the importance of species conservation, the project also aims to gain new research insights into sea turtles.
- What else endangers the turtles:
- Artificial light sources on beaches lure the baby turtles in the wrong direction after hatching – they move away from the sea and are therefore easy prey for predators and humann
- Propellers and collisions with vessels
- Noise under water (due to offshore construction sites, ship traffic, sonar equipment, etc.) disturbs the communication and orientation of the turtles
- Road traffic – turtles move very slowly and are therefore easily run over
How can turtles be protected?
If you want to work for the protection of turtles, there are several options. By volunteering, you can support organizations worldwide in the following areas, for example:
Engagement in a turtle sanctuary
Protection of turtle offspring
Support for research
Conservation of the habitat
- For the survival of a species, the offspring plays a decisive role. In our turtle project, we are committed to species protection and help directly on the beaches where the turtle babies hatch.
In some regions where turtles live, there is still a lack of education in terms of animal and environmental protection. Such educational work creates awareness of the problem and helps to win new supporters locally.
Protecting coral reefs
This project is about where and how to grow corals, coral farming, what the underwater situation looks like in general, where and how corals should be reimplanted, monitoring the reimplanted sites and connecting to universities and PhD students.
- After stopping dynamite fishing in Tanzania, it is now possible to create an accurate map of the damage to coral reefs along the coast and support reconstruction.
The main theme is to preserve this wonderful underwater world and to create awareness among the population of how important this preservation is ultimately for human survival. The need to start or operate a coral farm project was recognized and used.