BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Green sea turtles living in the Pacific Coast of Mexico and Florida have officially been removed from the endangered species list. The lovely creatures are no longer in danger of going extinct, but they do keep a “threatened” status.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S., the conservation efforts for saving the turtles will continue and the protection regulations will stand in place. Every year, 2,250 females were counted on the beaches of Florida, which is a dramatic increase from the 1970s.
The green sea turtles that belong to two breeding populations out of the existing eleven segments in the world will be reclassified. The division between populations has been previously made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in order to take different conservation approaches for each of them.
The three endangered populations which face the risk of extinction are all living in the Mediterranean Sea, the Central West Pacific, and the Central South Pacific Ocean. Thankfully, two out of those have evaded death and are now considered threatened. The Endangered Species Act will continue to protect them until their numbers increase in order to ensure their survival.
The global status of the turtles was reviewed by the agencies for determining a new classification. In order to do so, they made use of genetic studies and tracking methods and discovered that the numbers of green sea turtles are increasing thanks to the joint conservation efforts implemented by the agencies.
By splitting the populations of turtles into different segments, managers were given much more flexibility in tackling issues that are different for different regions of the world. Not to mention that programs were tailored for each specific population, and thus they could be appropriately protected and conserved.
The current success is the result of years of work and conservation efforts that ultimately led to the recovery of green sea turtles, including the bycatch fisheries reduction, the protection of beaches inhabited by the turtles and the prohibition of harvesting them directly. The green sea turtles in Mexico and Florida are only the latest animals to be reclassified from endangered to threatened lately.
Hopefully, the efforts of states and federal agencies continue saving other that are in danger of being wiped out.
Image Source: seaturtles.org