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Sea Turtle Facts

Sea Turtles in Palm Beach County

Sea turtles are air-breathing reptiles remarkably adapted to life in the sea. A streamlined shape, large size and powerful foreflippers enable them to dive to great depths and travel long distances. Although at home in the ocean, sea turtles are tied to the land because females must leave the water to lay their eggs on a sandy beach. Much of the research on sea turtles has focused on nesting females and hatchlings emerging from nests because these are the easiest to find and study. Thousands of nesting turtles have been tagged to gather information about their reproductive cycles and movements. In recent years research efforts have broadened, and new technologies such as satellite tracking have been used to learn more about sea turtles during other phases of their lives. After decades of research, much has been learned -- and many questions remain.

Sea turtles once roamed the oceans by the millions, but over the past few centuries the demand for sea turtle meat, eggs, shell, leather and oil has greatly reduced their number. Populations continue to decline because of the trade in sea turtle products and the loss of essential habitat. Thousands of sea turtles drown in shrimp trawls every year and others die from pollutants and non-degradable debris in the ocean. "Concern for the plight of sea turtles is growing and around the world. Conservationists, governmental agencies, public and private organizations, corporations and individuals are working to protect sea turtles on nesting beaches and at sea" - from Florida's Sea Turtles, Copyright 1992, Florida Power & Light Company.

Sea Turtle Frequently Asked Questions [External Link]