Green sea turtle populations in Mexico and Florida have been reclassified from Endangered to Threatened.
Decades of conservation efforts finally paid off.
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Green sea turtles in Florida and on the Pacific Coast of Mexico are no longer at the risk of extinction. They have been taken out from the list of endangered species but will remain under the protection of the Endangered Species Act since the population of tthe iconic animal is not ‘fully recovered.’ Green sea turtles have been down listed from Endangered to a Threatened species.
“Successful conservation and management efforts developed in Florida and along the Pacific coast of Mexico are a roadmap for further recovery strategies of green turtle population around the world.” Eileen Sobeck from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.
Up until 1970s, the population of green sea turtle continued to slide down and only a handful of turtles were left. A combination of factors such as overharvesting of their eggs, hunting and habitat loss have contributed immensely to their decline. But on Tuesday U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared victory for green sea turtle conservation in Florida and Mexico and announced the status change.
Now, around 2,250 nesting females are counted on the beaches each year in Florida alone and if the well coordinated conservation efforts continue, there population is expected to expand further.
Green sea turtle is a large, weighty animal which can grow up to 350 pounds and live along the coasts of 140 countries, with largest nesting populations were found in Costa Rica and Australia. To nest, female turtle leaves the ocean and choose a beach area to lay eggs and these eggs can range between 100 and 200.
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There are 11 distinct populations of green sea turtles and after the reclassification, only three will be listed as endangered with the rest will be classified as threatened.