Sea Turtles and the Impact of Their Extinction
Sea Turtles are one of the oldest creatures on the planet. They’ve been around since before the dinosaurs, living in Earth’s oceans for some 150 million years. But despite their long and successful history, sea turtles are now on the brink of extinction. Sea turtle populations have declined drastically over the years due to various human activities such as climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. So the question is, what would happen if sea turtles went extinct?
Disruption in Marine Ecosystems
Sea turtles play a variety of important roles in marine ecosystems. They are apex predators which helps to keep the food web balanced. Without sea turtles, prey species like fish and invertebrates could increase in number drastically, leading to overpopulation of these species and a depletion of resources. Additionally, sea turtles help to stir up the ocean sediment and bring nutrients from the ocean floor up to the surface. This provides essential nutrition for marine organisms.
The extinction of sea turtles would also result in a decrease in biodiversity. Sea turtles are considered to be a “keystone species” – having a large influence on their ecosystems which influence other species is well. The extinction of sea turtles would consequently result in a decrease in the variety of marine species, as some species are reliant on sea turtles for their survival.
Negative Effects on Beaches and Coasts
Sea turtles also play an important role in maintaining healthy beaches and coasts by supporting the health of the sand dunes. Sea turtles nest and lay their eggs in the sand, which in turn helps to maintain the cohesion of the dunes. Additionally, they also keep beach vegetation healthy by feeding on it and helping to distribute its seeds. Without sea turtles, beaches and coasts would be left vulnerable to erosion and other natural elements.
Sea turtles are charismatic creatures and one of the most beloved animals by conservationists, ecotourists, and marine biologists alike. Their presence in the ocean serves as a major draw for tourists who come to observe and appreciate them. The loss of sea turtles would have a direct negative impact on ecotourism, and the local economies that rely heavily on it.
Sea turtles are an integral part of marine ecosystems, and their loss could be devastating to the environment. We can all do our part to ensure the survival of sea turtles by reducing our footprint on the environment, protecting their habitats, and supporting conservation efforts.