Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild


Newly hatched sea turtles on their way to the sea © Sea Sense

Having been around for approximately 260 million years, sea turtles are some of the Earth's most ancient creatures and the seven species still found today are approximately half the size of their ancestors. Their hardened shells are streamlined, making them efficient swimmers in the tropical oceans were they are generally found.  After taking to the water for the first time, males will not return to shore again, whereas females come ashore, often to the same beach, to lay their eggs in nests that they dig during the nesting season. Over the last century sea turtle numbers have plummeted for a number of reasons, including: exploitation for their meat and other products, disturbance of nesting beaches associated with the tourism industry, light pollution, egg harvesting, bycatch in the fishing industry, rising sea levels and marine pollution. Combined, these have caused a rapid decline in global populations which take a long time to recover, as turtles are slow to reproduce and do not mature for 30 years.  Young turtles are highly vulnerable and even though females lay hundreds of eggs, a tiny proportion of these survive to become adults.

Born Free supports two organisations  working on the ground in Tanzania and Indonesia to protect these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, whilst our Zoo Check Programme campaigns for an end to the keeping of all species of turtles and tortoise in captivity, be it in zoos, tourist attractions or as exotic pets.  At the policy level, Born Free also works within CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to enforce the international trade restrictions on turtle products.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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