Every year, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Turtle Week brings awareness to sea turtles. All species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which was created to protect species at risk. As threats to the ocean have grown, so have threats to the populations of sea turtles and other marine animals.
A recent study analyzing the impact of the ESA showed that several populations of sea turtle and marine mammal species protected under the act are recovering! Experts found that species that have been listed on the ESA for more than 20 years are more likely to have larger increases in populations.
According to the study, seven out of the nine species of sea turtles analyzed saw population increases, including green turtles, hawksbill turtles, Kemp’s ridleys and leatherback turtles. The Kemp’s ridley turtles, specifically those that were studied in Texas, showed the biggest population recovery of any species in the study!
This is welcome news, but it is important to remember that these species are still on the Endangered Species List. It is crucial to continue the conservation of sea turtles and all other threatened and endangered animals.
Learn more about the National Aquarium’s commitment to tackling the issues facing endangered species.