Sea turtles numbered in the millions before and today they are on the verge of extinction. Will they disappear?
A very complete guide to sea turtles in the Caribbean, to better understand and protect them. The presentation of scientific notions, which the author endeavored to write in the simplest way possible, makes it accessible to all. It is intended for adults, but also for teachers and students in secondary schools, who will find essential supplements to deepen this complex and fascinating subject.
Are sea turtles doomed to extinction? Appeared 55 million years ago, these reptiles probably numbered in the millions around 2000 BC. However, only thirty years were enough to threaten their survival.
Appreciated for their flesh and eggs, sea turtles are today weakened by pollution and the destruction of their nesting sites. The chances of a newborn surviving are estimated at 1 in 1000.
Indeed, their rarity has made them an emblematic animal respected by younger generations and with strong tourist appeal. Experts therefore estimate the induced value of a leatherback turtle in Costa Rica at 18,500 euros. This species is listed on the IUCN Red List as “critically endangered”. They are subject to specific protection, yet the stocks are struggling to recover. Adult specimens are rare.
Laurent Louis-Jean invites us to get to know these sea turtles better: how do they feed? How do they mate? How do they reproduce? A sharing of knowledge to save them from the threat, and allow everyone to participate in their daily protection.
Author: Laurent Louis-Jean
Preface by Jean Lescure, from the National Museum of Natural History