Ocean Pollution – Endangered Ani

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					               T&T GREEN SCENE PROJECT




    Ocean Pollution –
   Endangered Animals
Endangerment of the Leatherback Sea Turtle
            By Chelsea Lucio, Form 1M
                     6/25/2010




                   Ms. Heywood
                Information Literacy
                        CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION                                      2



THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE LEATHERBACK TURTLE   3



WHAT CHALLENGES DO ENDANGERED AND EXTINCT
                                                  4
ANIMALS LIKE THE LEATHERBACK TURTLE FACE?



THE PROBABLE RESULT OF THEIR DESTRUCTION          6



CONCLUSION                                        7



BIBLIOGRAPHY                                      8



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                             9




                              P age |1
INTRODUCTION



The endangerment and ultimate extinction of animals in Trinidad and Tobago should

be everyone’s concern. Animals are natural resources and are characterized as

renewable because they can reproduce. People often mistreat animals by murdering

or molesting them. My project is based on the endangerment of Leatherback Turtles

(dermochelys coriacea), which is a tourist attraction, the present condition of their

plight, the challenges that they face and the probable results of their destruction.

Sea turtles play important roles in the marine ecosystem and have significant

economic and cultural value.




                                Pic. 1 Leatherback Turtle




                                       P age |2
THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE LEATHER BACK TURTLE

In 1980 the population of breeding female Leatherbacks was 75,000. Today, it is

less than 1,000. Each year, around Easter, female Leatherbacks drag themselves

onto Matura Beach, Grande Riviere, Trinidad and Black Rock in Tobago to lay their

eggs. Their numbers are steadily decreasing due to pollution, illegal fishing and egg

poaching. These enormous reptiles weigh a ton, dive deeper than many whales and

live for about 45 years. They peacefully ply the world’s oceans in search of jellyfish

and other soft-bodied marine animals such as squid and scallops.




Pic. 2 Hatched baby leatherback turtle                     Pic. 3 Female leatherback coming on shore




                                 Pic. 4 Leatherback turtle eating a jellyfish




                                                 P age |3
WHAT CHALLENGES DO ENDANGERED AND EXTINCT
ANIMALS LIKE THE LEATHERBACK TURTLE FACE?

Extinct or endangered animals face the challenges of survival, finding food and

hiding themselves from predators and hunters. The female leatherbacks live in the

ocean and only go on land to lay their eggs. Egg poaching, along with the turtles

getting caught in fishing gear, has led to their decline.




                      Pic. 5                                       Pic. 6
      Poachers tying up Leatherback turtle          Dead Leatherback entangled in fishing net




                                             P age |4
CHALLENGES (cont’d)

Pollution has also aided in the decline of the Leatherback population. They often

mistake floating plastic garbage for jellyfish. From plastic bags to pesticides, most

of the waste we produce on land eventually reaches the oceans. This includes oil,

fertilizers, solid garbage, sewage and toxic chemicals.




                         Pic. 7 Leatherback turtle eating a plastic bag

Oil from the BP blowout is also killing the endangered sea turtle species.




                       Pic. 8 A sea turtle swims out from under oil spill.




                                           P age |5
THE PROBABLE RESULT OF THEIR DESTRUCTION

All parts of an ecosystem are important, if you lose one, the rest will eventually

follow. All the unhatched nests, eggs and trapped hatchlings provide nutrients for

the beach vegetation. Stronger vegetation and root systems help to hold the sand

and protect the beach from erosion. If sea turtles went extinct, there would be

increased erosion.    Both the marine and beach ecosystems would be negatively

affected. The marine ecosystem is a natural resource for food and the beach is used

for a wide variety of activities, a negative impact to these ecosystems would

negatively affect humans. The extinction of the Leatherback would also result in a

break in the food chain. There would be an increase in jellyfish, scallops, squids, etc.,

and the Tourist Industry would suffer.




                            Pic. 9 Dead leatherback turtle on shore




                                          P age |6
CONCLUSION

We can help save the Leatherback Turtle by keeping our beaches clean, protecting

their habitats, obeying laws on illegal hunting, never buying turtle products,

reporting illegal hunting, join volunteer groups like SOS and educating ourselves on

the plight of endangered species .




                            “Come on lads. Do you want to live?”
                                          Pic. 10
                              Cartoon quip of Sgt Leatherback.




                                        P age |7
                                    BIBLIOGRAPHY

Websites:

http://natureseekers.org/leatherbackproject.html



References:

Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules, 2001 (Adobe PDF 21.46 KB)

Nature Seekers, Matura, Trinidad, “Trinidad Leatherback Project”

Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation organization, released a new report

       that finds the Deepwater Horizon oil spill extremely dangerous for sea turtles.

Save Our Sea Turtles (SOS), Tobago

Seaworld Organisation’s report on "Sea Turtles: Longevity and Causes of Death"



Book source:

Into The Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson Illustrated by Alix Berenzy



Journal:

Journal Report on “Conservation Letters” was conducted by Conservation International (CI) in

       partnership with Duke University’s Project GloBAL (Global By-catch Assessment of

       Long-lived Species)




                                            P age |8
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

1.   LEATHERBACK TURTLE    pg. 2

2.   HATCHED BABY LEATHERBACK TURTLE pg. 3

3.   FEMALE LEATHERBACK TURTLE COMING ON SHORE pg. 3

4.   LEATHERBACK TURTLE EATING A JELLYFISH pg. 3

5.   POACHER TYING UP LEATHERBACK TURTLE pg.4

6.   DEAD LEATHERBACK ENTANGLED IN FISHING NET pg.4

7.   LEATHERBACK TURTLE EATING PLASTIC BAG pg. 5

8.   A SEA TURTLE SWIMS OUT FROM UNDER OIL SPILL pg. 5

9.   DEAD LEATHERBACK TURTLE ON SHORE pg.6

10. CARTOON QUIP OF SGT. LEATHERBACK, pg.7




                               P age |9

				
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