Fish and Wildlife Research Institute


Threats to Sea Turtles

Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution are only some of the things sea turtles must fight against to stay alive. Researchers at FWRI are studying these threats and finding ways to help the population survive.

An Overview

This excerpt of the sea turtle Sea Stats publication describes the obstacles sea turtles face throughout their lives, including habitat destruction and poaching.

Artificial Lighting and Sea Turtle Hatchling Behavior

Artificial lighting on marine turtle nesting beaches disrupts the ability of hatchlings to find the sea from their nest, an effect termed "hatchling disorientation."

Fibropapillomatosis and Its Effect on Green Turtles

A high percentage of turtle strandings have been attributed to a disease that causes tumors to cover a turtle's body and impede their vision, mouth, and movement.

Impacts of Coastal Armoring on Sea Turtle Nesting Behavior

Coastal armoring structures (i.e., seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, and sandbags) are designed to protect upland property, but have the unfortunate effect of degrading marine turtle nesting habitat in Florida.

Non-Profit Organization in Brevard County Rescues Thousands of Cold-Stunned Sea Turtle Hatchlings

In mid-August, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society of Brevard County (STPS) came to the rescue of thousands of sea turtle hatchlings that were stunned by unusually cold surf water.

Tar and Trash Invading Sea Turtle Habitats

An alarming amount of litter and tar is collecting in the frontal zones where baby sea turtles spend the early years of their lives.

The Hazards of Beach Furniture to Turtle Nesting

The Sea Turtle Conservation League of Singer Island put together this information and took photographs documenting the threat a simple lounge chair can cause.

Rescuing Oil-Impacted Turtles: A Photo Set on Flickr

FWRI biologists and commercial charter boat fishermen teamed up to help rescue oil-impacted sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010.


View images of some of the threats to Florida's sea turtles.

January 2010 Cold-Stunning Event

The unusually long spell of cold weather in Florida in January 2010 has had a big impact on sea turtles. The FWC has been working with staff from county, state, and federal agencies as well as numerous volunteers on a mass rescue effort for sea turtles throughout the state.

FWC Facts:
Bay scallops are bivalve molluscs occurring from New England through Texas. In Fla., they can be harvested in Gulf state waters from Hernando Co. to Mexico Beach Canal in Bay Co.

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