Costa Rica’s National Coast Guard returned hundreds of baby sea turtles to the ocean after rescuing them from poachers.
Costa Rica's National Coast Guard successfully released 446 baby turtles into the ocean after rescuing 736 eggs from poachers— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) November 22, 2023
[📹 Ministerio de Seguridad Pública de Costa Rica]pic.twitter.com/qwY9WBflR7
Members of the Coast Guard watched as 446 of their rescues scuttled their way to the ocean waters — a great success in the fight against sea turtle poaching.
Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, is home to five of the seven sea turtle species. They are natural-born fighters, as only one in every 1,000 sea turtle eggs will become an adult. Hatchlings are prey to almost everything up until that point.
Once they reach adulthood, which can take up to 30 years, their list of enemies decreases significantly. The biggest predators they face are humans.
While sea turtles and their eggs are legally protected in Costa Rica, poaching remains prevalent. Considered a delicacy in Central America, turtles are extremely lucrative on the black market.
Poachers aren’t the only threat against these endangered species. Climate change is also proving to have severe consequences, with rising sea levels destroying nests. Higher ocean temperatures are changing the currents, too, directly affecting turtle migration routes.
There’s also been an influx of female turtles since the temperature in which an egg develops determines the sex of a turtle.
Turtles are not the only species affected by warmer-than-average water temperatures. Warm water deprives fish of the dissolved oxygen they need to survive, bleaches coral, fuels algae blooms, and melts sea ice.
The protection of sea turtles is incredibly important, as they have played a key role in maintaining healthy oceans for over 100 million years. They graze on seagrass, which stores carbon and keeps it from reentering and heating the atmosphere.
“Look at them go!” an X user exclaimed.
“Heal the world,” said another.
One person posted a “Braveheart” GIF with the word, “Freedoooommm!!”
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