Christine Figgener – My Life With Sea Turtles

Christine Figgener, a world-renowned marine biologist, discusses her passion for sea turtles and the importance of their conservation. She shares her journey to Costa Rica and her first impressions of the research station. Christine explains that there are seven extant species of sea turtles, each with unique characteristics and diets. She emphasizes the role of sea turtles in maintaining the underwater ecology, such as the green turtle's grazing on seagrass and the hawksbill turtle's role in controlling sponge populations on coral reefs. Christine also touches on the declining numbers of sea turtles and the potential impact on the underwater ecosystem. Sea turtles play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our oceans. They are considered keystone species that help regulate the ecosystem. The green turtles keep seagrass matters in check, while hawksbill turtles control sponge growth on coral reefs. Sea turtles also contribute to the provision of food by feeding on jellyfish, which helps maintain the balance of larval fish populations. However, sea turtles face numerous threats, including climate change, habitat destruction, and illegal harvesting. The mating and nesting behaviors of sea turtles are still not fully understood, but efforts are being made to study and protect these processes. Volunteerism in sea turtle conservation can be both positive and negative, with some organizations exploiting volunteers for profit. The viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose brought global attention to the issue of plastic pollution and the need for change. Despite the challenges, there is hope for the future of sea turtles, as they have shown resilience and the ability to recover if we make positive changes to protect their habitats and reduce threats.

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