Very few sea turtles make it to adulthood, 12-30 years. Females nest every 2-3 years, laying about 80 to 120 eggs. Estimates predict that about one in a thousand hatchlings survive to adulthood. Things you can do to help ensure their survival include: organizing or joining a beach clean-up; do not leave fishing line laying around; do not feed them; keep beachfront lights off throughout the night from May to October as they can confuse sea turtles during the mating season; reduce the amount of fertilizers you use as ordinary lawn and garden fertilizers wash into coastal waters killing plants and animals; and you can even adopt a turtle by joining and supporting the Sea Turtle Survival League.
Very few turtles make it to adulthood because life is really tough for sea turtles. They have enemies on land and in water. Humans developing along the water disrupt breeding patterns by confusing adult females trying to find a nesting site. The lights may also confuse the hatchlings and cause them to crawl in the wrong direction.
If the turtle can make it to the ocean, it has to survive long enough to get big enough to defend itself. As a result, possibly the most critical life stages of the turtles after reaching the ocean are the juvenile and young adult life stages. During this time, many turtles may be susceptible to getting caught in fishing nets. A simple technology to aver this situation is the Turtle Excluder Device that can be installed in fishing nets. This will help more young adults reach adulthood and eventually reproduce.
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