TREE Foundation

Tree Foundation - Trust for Environment Education, Conservation and Community Development, including TSunami Rehabilitation

TRUST FOR ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION, CONSERVATION & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 
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SAVE THE TURTLE . SAVE OUR OCEAN'S WEALTH

SWITCH OFF THE LIGHTS FOR THE OLIVE RIDLEY'S 

OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLES are valuable to people both ecologically, as they play a very important role in the coastal biodiversity, and for the sense of wonder they awaken in us.

In most cases, people are simply unaware rather than uncaring. These turtles have evolved and survived over millions of years on this planet, but are now threatened by our actions. These AMBASSADORS OF THE OCEAN swim thousands of kilometers across the ocean from nesting to feeding grounds, and are thus good indicators of the health and wealth of the ocean. Their return to nesting beaches time and time again in sufficient numbers will speak for itself.

HUMAN IMPACTS ENDANGER THE TURTLE SURVIVAL

The people living along the coast can cause profound environmental changes and habitat alteration that affects sea turtles at the nesting beaches.

The most distinctive and damaging type of habitat alteration is LIGHT POLLUTION caused by the introduction of artificial lighting.

Sea turtle biologists have shown that sea turtles are highly light sensitive. Critical turtle behaviors affected by light pollution are the selection of the nesting beaches by adult turtles and the identification of the sea for the adults and hatchlings.

Biological studies and observations show that artificial lighting on beaches tends to deter sea turtles from emerging from the sea to nest. Although there is a tendency for turtles to prefer dark beaches, many do nest on lighted shores, but in doing so, the lives of their hatchlings are jeopardized.

WHY?

On naturally lit beaches, hatchlings emerging from nests show an immediate and well-directed orientation toward the water. This robust sea-finding behavior is innate and is guided by light cues that include the brightness of the seaward horizon due to the reflection of light on water, and the dark silhouettes from sand dunes and trees on the landward side on undisturbed beaches. On artificially lighted beaches, hatchlings become misdirected by light sources, preventing them from finding the sea and making them susceptible to mortality from dehydration and predators.

Light management legislation is needed on every nesting beach even with a small number of turtles. The entire nesting range of a population may be made up of sparsely nested beaches and any group of nesting turtles may constitute a genetically unique and vulnerable unit. Losing even small populations may mean the permanent loss of diversity. Once the nesting beach is darkened it might attract more nesting turtles which nested there earlier.

THE EASY WAY TO TAKE CARE OF THE TURTLES

“To protect sea turtles, light sources can simply be turned off or they can be minimized in number and wattage, repositioned behind structures, shielded, redirected, lowered, or recessed so that their light does not reach the beach. Interior lighting can be reduced by moving lamps away from windows, drawing blinds after dark, and tinting windows”.

Voluntary involvement of those responsible is the only remedy

WITH A LITTLE HELP THE OLIVE RIDLEYS CAN CONTINUE TO SURVIVE AND ENRICH OUR PLANET

“TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE THIS A BETTER WORLD, AND TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE"

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Neightbor Ensuring Survival of Turtles (NEST).

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