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Yayasan Konservasi Pesisir Indonesia

Sea Turtle

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Hello Coastal Friends!

Six of the seven species of sea turtles in the world are in Indonesian waters as a habitat for feeding and breeding, or just migrating from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean or vice versa. The six turtle species are the Penyu Hijau (Chelonia mydas), Penyu Sisik (Eretmochelys imbricata), Penyu Pipih (Natator depressus), Penyu Lekang (Lepidochelys olivacea), Penyu Tempayan (Caretta caretta), and Penyu Belimbing (Dermochelys coriacea), all of which have the status of vulnerable to extinction.

The main threats faced by sea turtles are in the search and trade of eggs and body parts, damage to nesting habitats due to development in coastal areas, and threats at sea from fishing activities. There are still many Indonesian people who hunt turtle eggs for sale and consumption, even though all turtle species are protected animals in Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems.

Turtles are very old organisms, they have lived on earth for more than 110 million years. Turtles are surviving the climate change that killed the dinosaurs. The turtle’s upper body is protected by a shell called a carapace. Unlike turtles on land, sea turtles cannot hide their heads and feet into their shells. That reason also makes them more vulnerable when dealing with predators.

Turtles spend most of their lives in the ocean. The female can be seen on the beach only during the spawning season. During the spawning season, the female turtle will return to the same shore where she hatched. He will find the right beach despite being away for 30 years. Depending on the species, each turtle nest is usually found 60-200 eggs.

Turtles walk slowly on sand because their flippers are adapted for swimming, not walking. They are reliable swimmers who can cover long distances. Leatherback turtles can swim up to 19 thousand km, which is the same as the distance between Indonesia and Oregon, United States.

Turtles don’t have teeth, but their mouths adapt to every type of food they usually eat. Green turtles are vegetarian animals that eat seaweed, while other sea turtles eat crabs, clams, jellyfish, and sea cucumbers. Turtles will grip and eat plastic floating in the water because it looks like a jellyfish, and that can kill the turtle.