In celebration of today and our passion for conservation, we unveil this awareness poster. Artificial beach lighting is one of the many issues that harm the survival rate of sea turtles. Both nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings face issues caused by these lights.
June 16 is the world sea turtle day!
Every year, sea turtles make the long journey to shore in search of a the right spot to lay their eggs. Due to the increase in tourism more hotels, condos and houses are built by the beach. Today, sea turtles face far more challenges when nesting. The lights around these developed areas discourage females from nesting. And when a female makes several attempts to lay her eggs and has no success, she may place her eggs in less then ideal areas or even the ocean. The survival for them in that area is slim—little to none!
The next ones to face the lighting challenge are the hatchlings. Scientists have concluded that hatchlings use their instincts to find the ocean. That means following the brightest light, which happens to be the moon. But artificial lights placed near the shore line make hatchlings disoriented. Some may wander inland, get run over, die of dehydration or predation. They become so disoriented that they never make it to the sea.
How you can make a difference too:
If you live by the beach or know someone that does, let them know about this issue. Encourage others to install Turtle Safe Lighting or use blinds and curtains to block the light facing the beach.
When you find disoriented hatchlings call your local turtle watch organization or law enforcement. They will know what to do. Keep a close eye on the baby but avoid picking it up. There is a hefty fine if you don’t have a permit. If it’s a life or death situation, ask law enforcement.
Volunteer at your local turtle watch organization. This is an excellent way to help raise sea turtle survival rate. Above all, you can help spread the word about the importance of their conservation.
If you would like to get a printable version and you are a non-profit or a member of a turtle watch organization send us an email with your information and we can send you a version that includes your website link.