Sea Turtle Predators

Life for a sea turtle may seem relaxing and carefree, but they do have plenty of predators to consider. They can be in the water or on land. In fact, up to 90% of the eggs that are laid won’t have a sea turtle that makes it to last the first year of life due to such predators. This is a huge concern because that is affecting the overall number of them that remain on Earth.

The biggest danger to sea turtles is humans. For centuries they have been hunted for their meat and their shells. In many locations the eggs they deposited were taken as sources of food so there was no chance of them hatching and the cycle of life continuing. Even with protective measures in place and conservation efforts, these events continue to take place all over the world.

The fact that humans continue to take over the natural environment of sea turtles is also a concern. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 of them die annually due to boating accidents or getting caught up in fishing nets designed to capture other forms of aquatic life. Noise pollution has been known to scare female sea turtles too. As a result they won’t go to the shore to deposit eggs. Instead they will just stay in the water.

Yet the water is also a problem for the sea turtles due to humans. There is so much waste and pollution in them that they can develop different types of viruses and diseases that kill off large numbers of them.

The number of animal predators for sea turtles decreases as they get older and bigger. The new younglings are the one most commonly attacked. On land they may be consumed by foxes, dogs, birds, raccoons, crabs, lizards, and even dingos. It will really depend on what is found around their habitat.

In the water sea turtles have to worry about sharks and killer whales. While they do have protective shells, both sharks and orcas can bite through them without any problem at all. Therefore they aren’t as well protected as some people would think. As sea turtles have to move from their own natural habitat due to nature and humans, they are going to encounter more of these predators.

The risk of being consumed by a predator also depends on the type of sea turtle and their habits. For example some of them have coloring that helps to hide them and to protect them in the water. Those that grow to be very large are less likely to be bothered than those of medium or small size. Most species of sea turtles deposit their eggs on land at night. However, a few of them will do so during the day and that is more of a risk. There are also some sea turtles that go to land to bask in the sun. They too are more likely to be killed by land predators.

Even with all of the predators out there for sea turtles in their natural environment, it is the actions of humans that are leading to their overall demise. Their interactions with other animals doesn’t seem to be enough to reduce the overall numbers. Some human actions have helped to reduce the number of younglings being killed though soon after being hatched. These efforts include fencing off areas where the sea turtles nest from human access.

They also include helping younglings by physically removing them from their eggs and placing them directly into the water. Hopefully these types of actions will help to account for the various predators including humans that have threatened the overall existence of sea turtles.